Puzzle #47 Solution

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Last week’s puzzle, “Flock Together,” asked for something birds do. Astute solvers noticed that phonetically, we had a few birds of a feather flocking together around the grid:

PUFF + PHIN = PUFFIN
PAIR + RUT = PARROT
KEY + WEE = KIWI
AWE + SPREE = OSPREY
PENN + GWYNN = PENGUIN

The letters where these pairs of entries came together spelled out PREEN, which is something all birds (even kiwis! – those hair-like things are indeed feathers) do.

At the bottom of this post is an extra note that contains major spoilers for a recent metapuzzle from a different outlet. The submission window for that one is closed, but in case you’re behind and still plan to solve it, I’ve put it below another spoiler space. Scroll down if you like.

Unfortunately, puzzle #48 is constructed, but not yet clued. Between work and my son’s birthday today, I am going to have to delay its release until tomorrow. My apologies; stay tuned.

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In a crazy coincidence, this week’s WSJ contest crossword – a Matt Gaffney joint – made use of this exact same “two words that phonetically sound out a thing” trick. His were bodies of water:

CHESS + APEAK Bay
ARK + TICK Ocean
BARE + RING Sea
Lake SOUP + EERIER
YELL + OWE River

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a metapuzzle with this core idea, and now we get two in one week, independent of one another. It’s not Baader-Meinhof, but it’s a pretty weird happenstance.

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