There was some unfortunate news in the crossword world this week. News broke that The Chronicle of Higher Education will be shutting down its weekly crossword at the end of February, 2020. Puzzle editor Brad Wilber’s statement says the decision was, at least in part, because “print production of the Chronicle is scaling back to biweekly, and they tell me it will focus sternly and solely on news.” He also includes contact information if you wish to leave a note for the Chronicle in response. I’ve enjoyed its puzzles a lot over the years, so I’m quite sad to see it come to an end. In my admittedly biased opinion, what could be a better feature for a magazine about education than a crossword, which can teach everyone about language and people and culture that they might not have otherwise known? I hope Brad will be able to secure another puzzle-editing position soon.

Now, let’s get to today’s Post Magazine puzzle.

Seven book titles contain colors in their title, and they go in a specific order:

  • 24A: [Anita Diamant novel about a biblical shelter used by midwives] is THE RED TENT.
  • 33A: [Anthony Burgess novel adapted into a 1971 Oscar-nominated film] is A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
  • 54A: [Laila Ibrahim novel with a flowery title] is YELLOW CROCUS.
  • 69A: [Stephen King novel adapted into a 1999 Oscar-nominated film] is THE GREEN MILE.
  • 89A: [Melissa de la Cruz novel about wealthy vampire families] is BLUE BLOODS.
  • 124A: [Richelle Mead novel featuring alchemy and magic] is THE INDIGO SPELL.
  • 131A: [Alyxandra Harvey novel about a young woman who can see ghosts] is HAUNTING VIOLET.

The colors go in order of the ROYGBIV rainbow spectrum, and tying them all together is READING / RAINBOW at 102D / 108D: [With 108 Down, educational show hosted by LeVar Burton … and an alternate title for this puzzle]. I used to watch that show when I was a kid; the theme song is indelibly etched into my brain, so here’s an earworm for you. “Butterfly in the skyyyyyy .....”

I’ve done a couple of other book-based crosswords within the last few months (on Aug. 4 and Oct. 20), and both times I had to expand the grid beyond a 21x21 shape to accommodate all of the book titles. This puzzle was no exception, expanding to 22x22. I was happy to fit in some more unusual fill like DR. CLAW from “Inspector Gadget,” SLYTHERIN from the Harry Potter universe, DATA PLANS, JETSKI, ROME APPLE, CHEAT DAYS, ROCK BANDS, and SPYWARE.

See you next week and happy belated Turkey Day!