Not That Kind of Ent!

This puzzle is the result of asking Twitter to pitch me a theme prompt. Shout out to Elise Corbin for taking the bait and requiring me to stretch my brain a little bit, and also for giving this a test run! I was skeptical at first, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. Rest assured that if I wasn't able to make this work I would not have published the puzzle! Find me on Twitter if you want to tease me with a new prompt or chat about puzzles. Enjoy the solve!

puz |  PDF |  solution

Matt's Musings

This was not a case of my theme well running dry. I still have plenty of half-formed ideas floating around! While in the midst of some other crossword projects and trying to push more mainstream puzzles (including some super fun collabs - keep an eye out!), I decided to engage the community to see if I could build a puzzle around a spontaneous prompt, and Elise threw me a juicy curveball.

First thought: "This is a joke, right? No way I could build a puzzle around this! But let's try anyway." So I took Elise's idea and sat with it for a minute. I didn't particularly want to use a 19-letter reveal and have theme answers related to ear, nose, and throat diseases. Instead I decided to find one interesting condition in this field of study to use as a quasi-revealer, and scatter OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGY throughout the theme answers. When I found EPISTOLARY NOVEL I knew I was on to something, and I was happy to find a symmetrical set around it. I added two rows to let the fill breathe and I think it paid off. Very interested to hear your thoughts on this one!


  1. Nicely executed theme! I loved the clue on 24 Across, and I found the juxtaposition of 14 and 17 Across pretty funny.

  2. I enjoy your puzzles, but I'm puzzled by 11D. Aren't there five oceans on our planet?

    1. I was torn on that clue b/c I found that the Southern Ocean was not recognized globally.



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