Get a closer look at the university with the very first Michigan Daily crossword!
SUNDAY PUZZLE — Before I say too much, I would first like to acknowledge the incredible work done by Eric Lau in the coding and design of the web player. None of this would exist without him. As far as the puzzle, it is the first of (hopefully) many to be released biweekly every other Sunday. My goal with this first puzzle was to make it accessible, so it should be solvable with at most a little help from Google and your friends. I will also be including a Constructor Notes section with each crossword, discussing some of the tricky clues and revealing the overall theme of the puzzle. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the crossword, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I hope you enjoy the first ever Michigan Daily Crossword!
24A. I had to make sure that this spelling was acceptable, but the clue “Bounded” refers to LEAPED, as opposed to LEAPT which was the spelling I was familiar with. According to the Internet, “leapt” is the British English spelling and “leaped” is the Americanized version. Both are acceptable in day-to-day use.
30A. “Subj. for new immigrants” is ESL, otherwise known as English as a Second Language. These courses are readily available for those who are trying to learn English, in addition to their mother tongue. It’s no surprise that the majority of people who take ESL courses aren’t originally from America. This clue also illustrates a helpful tip for crossword solving: when a word is abbreviated in the clue itself, such as “subj.” in this one, you can expect the answer to be an acronym or abbreviated in some way as well.
35A. If you’re solving the puzzle with your mom, you might want to pretend not to know this one. However, a “Hallucinogenic drug also known as Ecstacy” is MDMA. I wonder what percent of the student body will get this right.
9D. This one is quite close to my heart, but the downside is that you’d have trouble guessing it if you didn’t immediately know it. The “Setting of ‘Parks and Recreation’,” is PAWNEE, a fictional Indiana city in which that show takes place.
21D. I’m really sorry about this one. Hopefully you could use the across clues to help, but “‘The Caine Mutiny’ captain” refers to QUEEG. Unless you’re a real film buff, this is an incredibly hard solve, especially considering that The Caine Mutiny came out in 1954.
45D. If I can find a way to fit in a national capital, I will almost certainly do it. This one I especially liked due to the special case of Bolivia. “One of two capitals of Bolivia,” refers to SUCRE. But if you know your capitals, you would’ve struggled between that and LA PAZ. Bolivia is one of three countries in the world with multiple capitals, South Africa and Eswatini being the other two.
I felt that the inaugural Michigan Daily Crossword should be representative of the university itself, and I tried to accomplish that through the theme. The answer to the revealer clue at 36-Across is GOING TO MICHIGAN, while the rest of the theme clues and entries refer to various places on campus. One small mistake which you may have noticed comes at 18-Across. “Campus coffee shop which can be found in the Union” refers to SWEETWATER, rather than the correct name SWEETWATERS. 20-Across and 55-Across both refer to residence halls, EAST QUADRANGLE and ALICE LLOYD respectively. 47-Across, however, uses some wordplay. “Sad, small, Ann Arbor bar?” refers to BLUE LEPRECHAUN. Other shorter Michigan themed answers are also in the grid, but I was just lucky to get them to fit.