Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016, Jules P. Markey

3:45 (FWOE)

A surprise addition to the holiday theme puzzle series! There are six "days" represented in the puzzle with their names put into boxes, thus leading to the revealer, BOXINGDAY. Excellent. The actual choices of days are interesting: we get one actual holiday with Patriots Day, which should appeal to our New England readers. Then there's Election Day, about which the less said the better.

The other four examples are a motley crew indeed. One event that happens once every four years (Leap Day), one event that happens once every week (Hump Day), one event that happens weekly in the right season (game day), and one event that may never happen at all in portions of the country, or possibly in the whole country some day if climate change continues (snow day). I enjoyed the variety, although I could see how some might nitpick.

The boxes make for triple-checked letters, and I would say that Mr. Markey has done a pretty remarkable job of keeping things as smooth as possible around those areas. Yes, there's ANATOLE and NIEBUHR, both of which are not Monday level answers, and SILOING is not really a word, is it? But otherwise, I like ARMLESS and EARFLAP, and any mention of XENA is a win in my book.

My error came at the cross of ESTA and SEABEES. I tried an E there, which even in retrospect seems to make sense. After all, the name comes from Construction Battalion (thus C.B.) and could be transliterated with a double-E. Anyway.

1A: Go out, as the tide (EBB) gets a D+ for crosswordese and blandness.

On the whole, a good Monday.

- Colum


  1. Hmm, I guess I associate the "sea" in "seabee" with the Navy. Which I now realize is more of a pun than a truly systematic name, but it did work out here.

    So I wanted a cello behind the viola, but when I realized that was the wrong number of letters I tried bass (which didn't seem right, as it wouldn't be immediately behind) and only when I got some crosses did I say, oh, all I needed was "orchestra" and chances are it's our good crosswordese friend the OBOE.

    Most surprising? Probably ETAPE, because I was looking for étagé which is related to layering and could plausibly have something to do with layers (days/legs) of a race, but that's just the kind of knowledge which sometimes pays off and sometimes doesn't quite lead to a correct answer.

    I realize it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed the 3 letter acrosses crossing the 7 letter downs. Favorite answer? Maybe BELARUS or EDAMAME? Could have been BAPTIST but not with such a boring clue. Needs one more like "person who doesn't believe in premarital sex because it might lead to dancing" (although I guess that clues "Southern Baptist") or "one who dunks or sprinkles" but I suppose trying to clue along those lines is a bit of a theological minefield.

    Played slightly hard for a Monday, but only slightly.

  2. 8:25
    Oddly, the cross of NIEBUHR and HPS had me stumped for awhile, even though [HUMP] is the only "day" that would have made sense there. I considered an "x," but there's probably not any such thing as "xump day" (or Niebuxr, for that matter). So I agree that that down, along with ETAPE, ANATOLE and even HOLYOKE for those solvers not from MA make this a bit of a tougher Monday than normal.

  3. 7:55

    54D: Tour de France stage (ETAPE) is funny, because "étage" can actually mean "stage," but the theatrical kind.

    And yeah, this played hard. I didn't want to take the time to figure out what was going on in the shaded squares, but in the end I had to (like Huygens) to get NIEBUHR. Wow. And why not clue ANATOLE with Anatole France? What is this, Saturday?

    But I'm not complaining.

    ... "one who dunks or sprinkles..." Hahahhahaaa! I'd love to see them try that clue!