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Easy puzzle today. Just a few things I wanted to pass along:

1. I did an interview with Puzzle Nation about the upcoming Indie 500 Crossword Tournament. Check it out, and get yourself registered — it’s only four weeks away!

2. In case you missed it, I wrote a long review of Patrick Berry‘s Vicious Circle mini-ganza. Because reasons.

3. The variety puzzle magazine Will Shortz’s WordPlay is, sadly, being discontinued. It just never reached enough of an audience to keep going. That’s a major shame, though it’s a reality that a lot of puzzlemakers have to prepare for. Anyhow, I now have at least two accepted but unpublished variety puzzles hanging around my shelf again, so I might post them here one day.

4. Full disclosure: today’s puzzle theme has been done before, maybe more than once. Dan Naddor had a version of it in the LA Times in February 2010. But I aimed to get original theme answers that I liked, and hey, there’s nothing wrong with reusing a similar story line every now and then. When you’re finished with the puzzle, highlight the space below to see an alternate title that I just don’t think I can use:

 

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Enjoy the puzzle. There will be a new one on May 9.

Update, 5/3/15 @ 3:45 pm ET: I just now discovered that one of the words in a theme answer had been unfortunately repeated in a separate clue. I’m shocked that I missed this as I normally check for repeats of all my answers. I don’t usually care if an answer has an incredibly common word like A or I or THE and then that same word shows up in another clue, but for uncommon and otherwise major words, I strictly avoid this kind of situation. Maybe most solvers didn’t notice it when they solved the puzzle, but I’ve removed the offending word anyhow. Sorry about that.