14-letter entries are the red-headed stepchildren of crosswords, at least in dailies. Being one letter shy of a grid-spanning entry forces the constructor to plop down a black square somewhere along the sides. Now with themed puzzles, big whoop, just add three more black squares perpendicular just above or just below that lone black square. Since themelesses are canvasses on which the puzzlemaker must showoff, any excessive use of black squares, well, may take up too much valuable real estate for fun entries. So anyway, with today's grid, yes I did start with the 14s and as such was faced with the very daunting task of chunkier-than-normal NE and SW corners. Still, for my money, six of the Acrosses in NE area are lights out, and a majority of the stuff in the SW as well. Were concessions made? Probably. Maybe that's just part of the process when you're dealing with 14-letter entries.
Share the puzzle. New on one Thursday.