Headline: Solving the Grid: Sally Masters USA TODAY’s “All Over the Place” Crossword Puzzle

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    by Sidney Hunt
    Published: June 22, 2024 (1 month ago)

    In the world of crossword puzzles, few challenges are as eagerly anticipated and dissected as USA TODAY’s daily brain-teaser, “All Over the Place.” Today, Sally Johnson, a crossword aficionado from Anywhere, USA, takes us through her journey in unraveling the cryptic clues and conquering the grid with precision and flair.

    As dawn breaks over her cozy kitchen table, Sally begins her ritual: a steaming cup of coffee in hand and the day’s newspaper spread before her. The challenge ahead? The notorious “All Over the Place” crossword, renowned for its clever wordplay and diverse range of themes.

    “I’ve been solving puzzles since I was a teenager,” Sally explains with a smile. “There’s something exhilarating about cracking each clue and watching the puzzle come together piece by piece.”

    Today’s grid spans 15 by 15 squares, adorned with clues ranging from the straightforward to the delightfully obscure. Armed with a trusty pencil and eraser, Sally dives in, starting with the across clues that beckon her attention.

    “I always look for the ‘gimmes’ first,” she admits, pointing to clues like 1 Across (“Capital of France”) and 17 Across (“Unruly crowd”), which provide a solid foundation to build upon.

    Yet, the puzzle lives up to its name, challenging Sally’s intellect and vocabulary with clues that zigzag across topics from pop culture to history and beyond. A sly grin crosses her face as she tackles 23 Across (“Japanese soup noodle”) with the precision of a seasoned solver, swiftly filling in “ramen” as the answer.

    “It’s all about making connections,” Sally muses, her gaze fixed on the grid. “Sometimes, a clue will trigger a memory or a flash of insight that leads to the right answer.”

    Navigating through the twists and turns of the puzzle, Sally’s strategy unfolds methodically. She switches between across and down clues, utilizing the intersecting letters to unlock previously elusive answers. Each correct word fills her with a sense of accomplishment, inching closer to completing the puzzle in its entirety.

    Hours pass like minutes as Sally meticulously deciphers each clue, occasionally pausing to savor a challenging wordplay or share an anecdote about a particularly clever clue she encountered along the way.

    Finally, with a flourish of her pencil, Sally fills in the last square of the grid. The once-empty puzzle now brims with neatly penned letters, a testament to her dedication and love for the art of crossword solving.

    “I’ve always loved the thrill of cracking a tough puzzle,” Sally reflects, closing the newspaper with a satisfied sigh. “Each crossword is a journey of discovery and mental exercise rolled into one.”

    As she prepares to start her day, Sally leaves a message for fellow puzzle enthusiasts: “Keep solving, keep challenging yourselves. There’s always another puzzle waiting to be conquered.”

    With that, Sally Johnson adds another triumph to her repertoire, mastering the day’s “All Over the Place” crossword puzzle with finesse and proving once again that the joy of solving puzzles knows no bounds.

    3.5

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