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Kathy Matheson author page

1 puzzle by Kathy Matheson
with Jeff Chen comments

TotalDebutCollabs
18/21/20161
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1000000
CircleDebutFresh
11155%
Kathy Matheson
View these same grids with comments from:
Constructor (1)Jeff Chen (1)Hide comments

See the 11 answer words debuted by Kathy Matheson.

Collaborator: Jeff Chen
Puzzles constructed by Kathy Matheson by year
Sun 8/21/2016 WONDER-FUL!
SAABSRIVALAVAST
ANNULETERITUGRILLES
BEASTIESKIFFLIPLOCK
DECLAPHOECHI
UZISYELLOWSTONERUNE
LENAEXPEDITIONSAMOS
FDANILLACDC
PALEOCEDEOFFSREBUS
AAAMOOREDRAMAIRE
PHDEDMONDSLAVICONE
YOSEMITEHOMELOAN
APUDOCSPAEMONIH
NATIONALPARKSERVICE
SOLEMNIONIADEMEAN
USMAPMETGALAGAYLE
BESTRONGNEPALESE
EVERSOWBOSON
HOLYCOWARMEYPEDANTS
TREVIMINDCANDYINAWE
METESENDEAVORSENDIT
LOOSENPRNEWSTEATS

Okay, so this one was backbreaking. I was really glad to have Kathy as a collaborator speaking her mind, as I was ready to make pretty big compromises at many points during the construction process. Coming up with the various individual elements wasn't that hard — we both really liked MIND CANDY hiding the GRAND CANYON, and OLD FAITHFUL going up through YELLOWSTONE, etc. — but putting all the pieces together in a 140-word grid made for a rough go. It was even tougher when we decided to locate all the parks roughly where they are on a US MAP.

Okay, ARCHES is a little off. Ahem. We had ACADIA there for a while, but we decided having both ACADIA and DENALI was duplicative. (Plus, ACADIA isn't actually the name of the mountain.)

Some of the odd stuff I tried to pass off as acceptable, before Kathy reined me in:

  • Stretching the definition of "proper geographical location." California is kind of in the southeast of the US, isn't it?
  • Spelling HALF DOME wrong. Ish.
  • Relying on many an obscure city (NDOLA would have been so useful) to hold major grid chunks together
  • Making DENALI so cockeyed / spelled wrong it looked half-mountain, half-desert
  • Generally pulling crossword glue shenanigans, of the capital-Ug-ugly variety

I really enjoyed working with Kathy on this. My threshold of what's an acceptable trade-off tends to dip after I get 50 or more grid skeletons in, so it was great to have her kindly telling me at many a point that what I proposed as reasonable trade-offs were actually (cough cough) not.

I admit it, sometimes on these really complicated projects, I stick my head in the sand and go into Denali. Er, denial.

P.S. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" — our alternate title for the puzzle — is one of my favorite books ever. (Buy it here.)

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