I had filled in everything but one square. It’s really, really annoying to be s-o-o-o close and yet not be able to complete it. I had no idea what the correct answers were for the clues where that letter was missing. Resorting to trying every letter of the alphabet, which sometimes leads to an “Aha!” moment, didn’t work.
Last night, talking on the phone with J, I mentioned the situation. She said, “You must have made a mistake somewhere in that quadrant.” Duh!
I pulled out the puzzle again and started thinking hard about where I might have goofed in that upper left-hand quadrant. I didn’t know the answer to 1 Down (Region in ancient Asia Minor). And 18 Across also had me stumped (Supermax resident). I was sure of all the other answers with the exception of 4 down (Certain soldiers). For that one, I had filled in AGTS, but it had never seemed right, especially since the clue did not indicate that the answer should be an abbreviation. That had to be where the mistake was. There was no doubt that the A, T and S were correct, so I decided to erase the G and then considered what other letter would form a word that would be the right answer for the clue. Suddenly, the proverbial light bulb went off. ANTS! I wrote in the N, and that immediately led me to the answer for 18 across – FELON. And inserting the E in the square that had originally been unfilled gave me the answer to 1 Down – AEOLIA.
Another Sunday puzzle completed! (Thanks, J!)