Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016, David Woolf


TOSSEDSALAD! Yes, I love this kind of theme, even when I had it figured out about half-way down the grid. Great to have five solid theme answers with different anagrams of "salad". Four of the five have the anagram across two words, all except PINACOLADAS - I'm inclined to let that pass. Turns out there are 60 possible permutations of this letter string, so it would definitely be too much to include all possibilities.

Plus also we get DOUGLASADAMS in full, one of my favorite authors of all time.

  • "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."
  • "What's so unpleasant about being drunk? Ask a glass of water."

One could go on. But in any case, I like the theme. And I don't think the fill suffered much at all. Things I didn't like: AVIA, LADED, and the fact that KIA and KOA are both in the same grid. And there's also KEEPITREAL and LAZYSUNDAY.

1A: Funny Groucho or Harpo (MARX) didn't need the first word in the clue. I give it a B-.

I don't have too much else to say on the matter. I think it was a good Monday puzzle. Happy Memorial Day!

- Colum


  1. 7:25
    I believe the permutation formula is x!; in other words, for a five-letter word, the formula is simply 5!, or 5x4x3x2x1=120. Of course, I could be wrong. I, too, love this kind of puzzle, and DOUGLASADAMS. In addition to his books, he was also a writer for Doctor Who in the Tom Baker years. Not surprisingly, his episodes always had a humorous side to them. MEATAX: gross. But I loved SATYR, ISOLDE and TEAT. And it's always nice when SUE is in the grid.

    1. You are correct that the permutation formula is x!, but if two of the elements are the same, you have to divide by 2, thus 60 unique permutations.

    2. A twist that I hadn't considered. Normally I deal in numbers!

  2. 4:47

    I'm not a huge fan of the "scrambles" theme, to quote a controversial entry (at least in this house) from last week, but I don't dislike them either. It's a fine Monday offering. The anagrams are all couched, as you say, in perfectly solid answers.

    The only thing I'll add is that looking at it now, with the gray shaded squares showing the placement of the anagrams (which only happens after you finish), I keep seeing "Sal sad dancing" and it makes me think of the "wacky cluing" type of theme. Maybe this one could have been clued with "Old baseballer Bando alone on the dance floor during a slow song." Or, maybe not.