Marti: I submitted this puzzle to Rich Norris at the Los Angeles Times sometime in January 2013, and was confident that he would accept it. A few weeks later, Janice Luttrell and Patti Varol (Rich's assistant) had this one published (click here to view or download the puzzle in PDF format; here to download it as a puz file [requires Across Lite software to play]; here for the solution); blogged here and here. Not surprisingly, the next day I received Patti's rejection email, telling me they would pass on my puzzle. She did comment that she thought my puzzle was quite nice, and apologized for the timing. It was amazing to me that we thought of almost exactly same theme entries. But that has happened before, and even crossword geniuses like Mike Shenk and Matt Gaffney have crossed paths (see here for chapter and verse). So I guess Patti and I are in good company!
GB: When Marti and I started communicating with each other in the Fall of 2013, I asked to see samples of her constructions, and was blown away by her creativity and productivity. Marti shared the sad backstory of this particle puzzle with me, and I have no doubt that just about every constructor can relate and empathize. Fortunately, our website provides a forum for this puzzle to get the appreciation it deserves! When brainstorming for a title (note that neither the LA Times nor the New York Times give titles), I suggested "Great Minds Think Alike," but surely you will agree that Marti's title is even better because it also winks at the puzzle's theme. Finally, it is a particular pleasure to have the web publication of Marti's puzzle coincide with the the 100th anniversary of the first crossword puzzle, a day (Saturday, December 21, 2013) on which Marti has this puzzle appearing in the Los Angeles Times.
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