OK, let's see if I can publish one that doesn't need to be corrected soon after it goes live! This should be a fairly easy puzzle, though I have some doozies coming up!!
Now I say that with some trepidation because some testers did not see it immediately based on the fact that they were looking for more of a Tom-like mechanism. This isn't a cryptic or will require a lot of Google, but you will have to pay attention to titles and clues to get to the answer. As always, nudges Friday, PM help anytime.
Nudge 1] If you are one of those people who subject the puzzle to letter analysis, you had to notice the paucity of something
Nudge 2] Since that is not "natural" or "common" it MUST have something to do with the solve
Nudge 3] Not only is the anomaly in the puzzle, it is symmetric
BONUS NUDGE] If you watched Jeopardy on Thursday evening, one of the $800 questions in the Double Jeopardy round was a spoiler!!!
It would appear that the nudges were not all that helpful, either that or everyone is still struggling with the WSJ like I was. OK, fine then I don't want this one hanging over your head (esp. if you are getting geared up for the MCWCC week 5), here are a few more nudges:
Nudge 4] Everybody knows about "special" places in the grid, and the one most special of all. Surely there is a reason THAT word is THERE?
Nudge 5] There is a very big "nudge clue" in the puzzle that makes use of the phenomena mentioned in Nudge 1
Nudge 6] If you are doing what the nudge clue told you to do, you might want to do it in red...
This is playing harder than I thought so two more nudges.
Nudge 7] There are two big nudge clues which, as it turns out, are both symmetric and contain one of the mechanism elements in them. One if quite near the start, the other quite near the end
Nudge 8] The title of the puzzle, given that the sword wielder is facing a dragon so we are talking a little bit of a back in time or archaic language thing, is there another phrase for "Give Up" that was used?
This puzzle came to me on a morning walk as I passed a YIELD sign. "Hmm that would be easy to draw" a voice in my mind said.
After getting back home (and feeding the cats) I started on it. The hardest part was using only a few Os. I mean most puzzles have 12 but this one had to have only 6. It made the fill harder because so many "good" words have O's (had to skip OREO completely - seemed sacrilegious). But it came together quickly and my testers felt it was a pretty fair puzzle.
1) Very few O's
2) Symmetrically placed
3) Two symmetric nudge clues - 5A5AUniversally recognized octagonal warning[----] Universally recognized octagonal warning, 77A77ABed board[----] Logical way to solve a mystery, connect the ___
4) one of the few and symmetrical Os in each nudge clue
5) DEFER, a synonym for YIELD, smack in the middle
6) a Title that references "Giving Up" or yielding
7) A prompt that mentions "sign of our times"
I figured that people would have it solved in seconds...not to be though because it was so different than my usual silliness that people didn't see what was right there.
Essentially you needed to connect the 6 Os which would give you an inverted triangle. An inverted triangle is a universal symbol of YIELD (or GIVE WAY in the United Kingdom). This was reinforced by the DEFER (or YIELD) in the middle and the title of the puzzle
I had almost 40 solvers so I cannot complain, I just feel badly that it gave some people such a workout. Well the good news is that you get three weeks of the Awesome Aussie, the Roo Rangling Riddler, the Wallaby Wannabe...BEN!
I'll be traveling a bit and my internet access will be spotty at best and my time for puzzles (since I am driving and it is a long trip) minimal. So, until later in October (the 25th I think) I'll say so long for a while.