Default - 324606 Words
New 10L 79S CARABINEER
* * *
I’ve started making side notes about comparatives and superlatives in the same notepad I’m using for plurals and verb forms. If I come across a comparative in the list, I’ll add the superlative to the notepad, and vice-versa. A basic adjective in Default is not a trigger to add the comparative and superlative forms in the notepad, but the comparative/superlative in Default might prompt me to add the basic adjective in the notepad, particularly if the adjective is not going to receive a high fill score, e.g. BRAMBLY.
In 2002 I attended a puzzle convention in Vancouver, and one of the most popular local attractions among convention attendees was a gelato shop two blocks from the hotel. At one of my visits, my friend Chris offered me a spoonful of his order, which I believe had the advertised flavor “creme brulee.” “Doesn’t it taste like yellow cake batter,” he correctly observed. That was the first time that I considered “cake batter” as a confectionary flavor rather than simply a cake-baking means to an end. The idea apparently popped into a lot of minds at the same time, and in the last ten years I’ve seen cake batter-flavored candies, ice cream, cereal bars, and martinis!
This word had been on a Google Doc list of potential seed entries for about six months. I learned the word from a QI segment about unusual German loan words. I didn’t have anything new and exciting to start Unthemely 19 so I threw GEMUTLICHKEIT in the middle of a grid to see what would happen.
I chose this one-off entry to seed the marquee spot in an Unthemely puzzle released a few hours after the 2012 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament ended. Congratulations to the 140 ACPT competitors who finished the tournament with a higher score than Matt Ginsburg’s crossword-solving software and thus earned an “I Beat Dr. Fill” souvenir button.