This, That or Whichever

This, That or Whichever

WEDNESDAY PIZZLE -- Why bother with a calendar, when you have the New York Times Crossword to solve? Outside, it's possible that today will bring you all the usual Wednesday things. The days of the weeks are only a premise, a thinly-veiled construct that allows us to present a puzzle which increases in difficulty each 24 hours.

The theme for today's crossword puzzle is a similar idea, and it was created by Brooke Husic & Brian Thomas. You might not notice the subtlety until you finish. Once you realize it, it will be as obvious as day.

Today's Theme

This is what happened to me. I solved the entire puzzle without noticing the theme. Can you really blame me? The only clues we receive from the theme clues are bracketed references referring to a mysterious seven-number sequence. At 1-Across for example, "About 85%-90% Muslims globally [1st out of 7]". The answer is SUNNI.

What comes in sevens then? What comes in sevens? What a great idea! Looking at our entries, we see that it's right: the first few letters in 1-, 17-17, 26-37-48-58-69-Across are the abbreviations of the consecutive days of week.

The '[1st] of 7] in 1A is SUN NI, and the '[2nd] of 7] in 17A is MON TALBAN. The list goes on.

The final theme for 69-Across '[7 Of 7]' was SAT AN. It makes sense to me, because I feel awful by the end the week.

Tricky Clues

DURIANS, 'Spiky Fruits with a Noxious Odor' are native to Southeast Asia and are considered by some as an heavenly delicacy in spite of their smell.

The English equivalent of 'Spanish -ando' and '-iendo" is -ING.

This entry is not only a theme, but also a tricky clue because of the wordplay. It's also a first entry in the crossword. Here, you're looking for the manual digits: THUMB WOARS.

A CAROM is a "Ricochet" in billiards where the cueball hits two or three balls consecutively. It is not surprising that I've never heard of this word because I tend to scratch the table instead of hitting the balls when I play billiards.

Both college sports fans and nature enthusiasts will recognize a OHIOAN as a 'Buckeye. The Ohio State Buckeyes get their name from a state tree.

To "Deflect as an insult or sword" is PARRY. I lack the dexterity and strength to fight either of them, but I am confident that I can survive an insult.

Constructor Notes

This puzzle was made two years ago. Hope you enjoy!

Want to Submit Crosswords for The New York Times?

Please note that submissions are temporarily closed. The submissions will be reopened on 17th July. During this time, the editors of the puzzles will be reviewing any puzzles that have already been submitted. You may hear from them even though submissions are closed.

To learn how to start, check out our series titled 'How to Make a Crossword Puzzle'.

Tips, Ahoy!

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