Saturday, June 6, 2015

Saturday, June 6, 2015, Jason Flinn


Wow. I was so happy with myself when, about ten minutes in, I figured out SILENTW (41D: Wrong start?), but it took us another hour and fifty minutes to finish!

Granted, we’re at the beach house, entertaining a few other people, but still… it’s not something you expect on a Saturday. I don’t know how many times we put in and took out NOI/RE, and when Frannie got WEI/GH for 16A: Hang in the balance?, we knew it had to be right, but it just wouldn’t work! And furthermore, one of our guests was pretty confident about ESTR/ADA (38D: Latino star once named one of “The 10 sexiest bachelors in the world” by People magazine), and was stunned when it didn’t fit.

“MIRROR MIRROR” came quickly, and with it SNOWWHITE and the SW. EVILQUEEN and the NE took a little longer, and eventually the sides filled in. But everything around those gray squares stayed undone. We figured out more and more of them – or thought we did, but they just wouldn’t fit, and when they did, the crosses looked awful.

So anyway, it was finally the OFM/AN (42A: Darwin’s “The Descent ____”) crossing THEM/ASTERS (25D: Annual Augusta event) that broke it. In retrospect, it took way too long, because both of those just had to be right. I guess I just have to blame it again on the fact that we weren’t expecting it, and the fact that we are entertaining guests this weekend. In any event, I will remember Jason Flinn’s name from now on.

It’s a little odd that you end up with some nonsense if you look at is as though it were a regular grid, but it’s not a regular grid, so that’s ok in the end.

Very good, challenging Saturday.

- Horace


  1. I'm not going to put a time in on this one, because I solved it with my mother, who had already started it on the train. She pointed out the theme answers (which I did figure out on my own), but then said that there was something odd about the middle section, because she had gotten nowhere. I had IMOUT and OMENS crossing each other, but couldn't make anything else work there, but with her observation, was much more quickly able to figure out the trick. I can see why this was a Saturday: it wouldn't have been fair even as a Thursday themeless, but I'm not sure whether I want a themed puzzle on Saturday. Still, extremely well carried out, and fun to figure out.

  2. 36:22
    OFM/AN broke it for me. I mean, I read that one and know that there was no subtitle, etc., that would have lengthened it, especially by only four boxes. Like Horace, I filled in the non-affected corners first, but once I saw the trick it was very quickly finished. I'm torn on whether this is a good use of a Saturday; it felt more Thursday-like. I prefer the themeless with stacks on Saturdays, but I agree that this is a very well-done puzzle.