What to Do This Weekend

img ]

Welcome. It’s the last weekend of Pride Month in the United States. If you’re in the New York region, check out some ideas for how to celebrate: The Dyke March is on Saturday, the Pride March on Sunday, and there are innumerable less official events going on all weekend. Here are more ways to pass the time, at home and away, over the next few days.


Tell us.

We’re still collecting your picks for your personal song of this summer, so email us: athome@nytimes.com. Include your full name and location and we might feature your story in a future newsletter, and your song on an upcoming playlist. We’re At Home and Away. We’ll read every letter sent. More ideas for leading a full and cultured life, at home and away, appear below. See you next week.

Moscow Turndown

img ]

Image Raja on a Christmas past, surveying his gifts at the London Zoo in 2004. Credit… Scott Barbour/Getty Image

I had to use the crosses to get 39A, “Toronto landmark that’s the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere.” That is the CN TOWER, a telecommunications hub that once set a record for height. It has the world’s highest wine cellar, a hands-free (but tethered) high-altitude walking expedition on the exterior and a glass floor you can peer down through, which is undoubtedly superior to a glass ceiling you can peer up at.

Now we have a WARRIOR PRINCESS, a KOMODO DRAGON, and a CN TOWER as we approach 47A, “Who sang the 1973 #1 hit ‘Midnight Train to Georgia?,’” which may be a stumper, unless you have picked up on the theme. If not, it’s fine to look it up. Really. This classic was by GLADYS KNIGHT & the Pips.

Now just fill in 47A with FAIRY TALE ENDING, and voilà, a story is born. But only the telegraphic outlines. I tried to fill them in. You can, too.

Here’s my hasty rough draft: A princess, out riding her spirited steed, encounters a slavering dragon and thwacks it smartly with the hilt of her sword. She schleps the stunned beast to the top of a tall tower and imprisons it, then punches her timecard, ending another day of protecting the multicultural matriarchal monarchy. As she gallops toward home for some much-needed self-care and a crossword or two, she encounters a knight stranded with his injured mount. Coming to the rescue, she wraps and splints the wound so the knight and the horse can get safely home, then clip-clops on toward her happily ever after.

Have a FAIRY TALE ENDING, real or imagined? Please share it in the comments section, if you’re so inclined. We could all use more entertainment.

Constructor Notes

I’m very excited to be making my NYT debut! This was my fifth or so submission after I started creating puzzles a couple of years ago. I’ve been drafting a new puzzle every now and then, but I am trying to get into a more consistent rhythm. So here’s to the first of hopefully many more. The theme of this puzzle came together without too much trouble after I got the initial idea. My first thought was to create a puzzle around what would become the clue to the revealer — “happily ever after” — but I switched to FAIRY TALE ENDING pretty quickly, and the rest more or less fell into place from there. My apologies to the EIFFEL TOWER, which ended up being replaced by its lesser-known Canadian cousin. The trickiest part was coming up with an entry ending in PRINCESS, as there aren’t many such phrases that are also unrelated to fairy tales or not too obscure. It’s still the theme entry I’m least enthusiastic about, and I confess I don’t have a super strong sense of how much Xena remains a part of pop culture today. Wikipedia tells me the show ended in 2001. But the editors didn’t have any qualms about her, and my Xena-phobia aside (sorry, couldn’t resist), I’m quite happy with how everything turned out.

Need a Heroine to Step In?

If you’re close to completing the puzzle, but could use a chivalrous assist, we’ve got you covered.

Warning: Subscribers can take a peek at the answer key, but beware, there are spoilers in the moat.

Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Right here.

Your thoughts?

‘I Have a Dream’

img ]

THURSDAY PUZZLE — Man, did this one ever take me down. Congratulations to the constructor, Tracy Bennett. You win. And it’s only Thursday.

Maybe I just wasn’t on the same wavelength with her today, because this is a great puzzle. It’s clean and filled with a lot of exciting entries, AS NEAT notwithstanding. The theme is excellent. And yet it gave me more trouble than the average Saturday puzzle.

At first I thought it might contain a rebus element, because that is often the culprit when I am struggling to make progress in a crossword. It’s not a rebus puzzle.

There was a lot of general knowledge in Ms. Bennett’s puzzle, and the clues seemed a bit tougher than usual, but in general I think I just wasn’t braining well today. These things happen.