Last week’s puzzle featured what a solver informed me are called letter banks. The way that works is you have a long word with repeated letters, all of which are found in a shorter word (the “bank”) which does not have any repeated letters. So our five theme entries could be reduced down to the following letter banks:
NONRECURRENT -> COUNTER (or recount or trounce)
CAPITALISTIC -> PLASTIC
INCONSISTENCIES -> NOTICES (or section or noetics)
ANTIAIRCRAFT -> FRANTIC (or infarct or infract)
NONPERTINENT -> POINTER (or protein or repoint)
Next thing to notice was that the letter banks were themselves used as clues for other grid entries (and in a few cases the clue was a bit forced):
71a. Counter = RESIST
68a. Plastic (as in “fake”) = ERSATZ
50a. Notices (as in “bits of news”) = ITEMS
18a. Frantic = GO-GO
14a. Pointer = NEEDLE
The first letters of those grid entries (in order of associated theme entry, not grid order) spell out REIGN, itself a promising letter bank. And indeed if you reverse the process you can find, using only those five letters, an 11-letter scientific discipline as the prompt requested – it’s ENGINEERING.
Up next is puzzle #71, “Texas Hold ‘Em.” ***Update*** – I was in a hurry this morning and left a clue unfinished; corrected version below.
The answer to the metapuzzle is what you might be thinking after seeing the river. Submit your answer using the contact form by 11 pm Pacific Time on Monday, August 3. I’ll publish a new puzzle next Tuesday.