Average Length: 4.78
Difficulty: Gentle, kind, empathetic, funny, generous, open-minded, fun-loving … Oh, wait, that was my Mom. This puzzle shares some of those characteristics.
Happy Mothers’ Day to all you mothers out there! I hope your day (and life) is filled with love, joy, and appreciation.
I constructed this puzzle in February. In March, one week shy of her 88th birthday, my Mom passed away. She lived a wonderful life, traveling all over the world, dancing at the slightest provocation (including with a tribal elder in Ghana as part of a ritual ceremony), giving generously of her time, spirit, and resources, and appreciating the dignity and value of everyone she met. I miss her terribly, but my grief is made bearable by joyous memories of trips, holidays, stupid jokes, her fantastic arroz con pollo (back in my meat-eating days), and a lifetime of wise and heartfelt support.
Thanks to my Mom and Dad, I think I was born interested in crosswords. Much of my childhood is a blur, but I vividly recall my parents passing the NYT Sunday puzzle back and forth, praising/questioning/correcting one another’s entries, and occasionally emitting a satisfied or chagrined “oh”. Solving the Sunday NYT remained a weekly habit for my Mom and Dad until my father died six years ago. Mom continued to solve puzzles, in both English and Spanish, until she passed.
Mom, wherever you are, 41 Across, a thousand thousand times, and Happy Mothers’ Day! I hope there are puzzles galore for you to enjoy!