Wagner Work – The New York Times

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The Metropolitan Opera’s Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt performing in Wagner’s “Die Walkure.”Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

WEDNESDAY PUZZLE Riddle me this: When is an O not really an O?

Answer: When it’s a RING. Or a whole bunch of RINGS. Maybe even a CYCLE of them. Don’t worry if this puzzle drove you to fits of operatic drama. All will be revealed below.

Finn Vigeland and Natan Last are back, and they have brought with them the J.A.S.A. (the Jewish Association Serving the Aging) Crossword Class to show us midweek solvers that things aren’t always what they seem. If you’re just joining us, the J.A.S.A. Crossword Class is part of an ongoing series of college-level, continuing education classes for adults age 55 and over. This particular class meets in New York City to learn the art of crossword construction and sometimes gets their puzzles published in The New York Times. If you live in the New York City area and would like to join the class, here’s the information on signing up. Here’s a peek at some of their other published puzzles.

Today’s Theme

We’re looking for Os today, but are they really Os? If you’re solving online, that’s pretty much what they look like, but let’s let our imaginations roam free and say that they’re RINGs. The J.A.S.A. class would like us to look for an increasing number of rings until we’ve completed a CYCLE of sorts, and the revealer at 59A tells us that a possible title for this puzzle (weekday New York Times puzzles don’t run with a title) could be Wagner’s “RING CYCLE,” also know as “Der Ring des Nibelungen.”

There are five places where RINGs can be found:

16A: “Place to find one O” = THE HOBBIT
22A: “Place to find two Os” = VENN DIAGRAM
28A: “Place to find three Os” = CIRCUS TENT
40A: “Place to find four Os” = AUDI DEALER
45A: “Place to find five Os” = OLYMPIC FLAG

I tumbled to this theme fairly early, but solved them out of order because I hadn’t…

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