I love it when the world high-level crosswordese collides with reality. Two weekends ago at the ACPT, I was chatting with ace solver Amy Reynaldo and noted crossword constructing assassin Byron Walden. And while we were nursing our beers, Amy was grousing about what she felt was a ridiculous entry Byron put in one of his tournament puzzles nearly ten years ago. (Amy has been known to hold grudges.) The answer was PIAVE, which is an Italian cheese made from cow's milk. Byron's been known to throw a couple two three tough-but-fair entries in his puzzles now and then. He didn't feel PIAVE was that big of a deal as it was available at every Whole Foods delicatessen. I couldn't add anything to the conversation as I don't eat cheese so I'd never heard of it either.
So flash forward to last weekend, I'm on a date with Liz and the restaurant where we were dining must have had a huge shipment of piave, as it was on about a quarter of the dishes on the menu. I've been trying to explain to Liz how stumbling upon crosswordese in real life is the puzzle equivalent of seeing Bigfoot swimming with the Loch Ness monster. But alas, she doesn't understand the high I get when a word goes from being theoretical to very real. Heaven help me if the two of us ever stumble upon a real-life ESNE or ADIT. I will freak.
Share the puzzle. New one on Thursday.