Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017, Bruce Haight and David Steinberg


Friday themeless theme alert! The three sets of black squares across the middle are in fact meant to be a hat turning over, apparently with counterclockwise action. I imagine that is a more difficult way to go about FLIPPINGONESLID, but who am I to judge. Meanwhile, in the symmetric space across the bottom of the grid, we get ATTHEDROPOFAHAT, which I like much better (none of this "one's"). Also note that the grid lacks symmetry.

I solved this puzzle in the company of my mother, the day after Thanksgiving, down here in NYC. I recognize that for most of the country, NYC is not "down", but rather "up", or conceivably, "over there." We wanted SOFTcrab at 1D: Its shell isn't hard (SOFTTACO), but 22A: Sci-fi TV series before "DS9" (TNG) soon put that right. Even though we worked our way down to ONSITE, the top part of that corner was still too difficult, so we skipped to the NE.

Of course GANACHE is a favorite, especially chocolate truffle variety. I also very much liked 13D: Chip maker (CHISEL). Not the sort of chip I was thinking of. We slipped into the SE corner by way of 35A: Person picking a ticket (VOTER).

I will always come out against ENPLANE and similar words. I just don't see anybody using the term in real life. Similarly, 40D: Amateurs (NONPROS) is true, accurate, and never used.

We finally worked our way back up to the NW by way of 6D: Steady (MAINSQUEEZE), which is my favorite from today's grid. It's exact but the clue has enough ambiguity to be unclear, and the actual answer is very satisfying.

1A: Dish whose name means "pierce flesh" (SASHIMI) gets a B+ for the nice trivia.

- Colum


  1. My time was 12:43! I hardly ever beat you guys!

    I feel exactly the same re: NONPRO and ENPLANE. And I also wanted to put SOFT CRAB! It's all there in my own blog entry! Truly, we are of one mind.

  2. 13:24
    An enjoyable puzzle for me.

    I think I saw ATTHEDROPOFAHAT just a few days ago. Not sure if it was in a NYT or another puzzle. Anyhow, that helped a little bit.

    This was a final moment of good spirit before the complete disaster that would await me on Saturday.

  3. 34:10
    I also had somewhat of a bad time with today's (Saturday's) puzzle, but the Friday (this one) went just fine. Nice TAJMAHAL trivia, and I'm surprised at how many crosses it took for me to get AGATHA. CHEERIO is great, as is CHEW (54D Cogitate (on)). I've been to QATAR, famously, and nice hidden capital at 2D Brave person, typically? (ATLANTAN). MAINSQUEEZE was my favorite answer, too; I mean, a Q and a Z in the same word.

  4. 24:17
    I know it's a Friday puzzle comment, but I'll just add to the chorus of "ouch" as regards Saturday's puzzle. After over an hour, Frannie and I decided to work together, and only then were we able to plow through it. That said, I love a good Saturday smackdown from time to time.

    But what about Friday? This was a pretty fun one, too. I put in ATTHEDROPOFAHAT off the clue, but not everything went that quickly. I had a fun time trying to guess in my head which clues were from Mr. Haight, and which from Mr. Steinberg. I'm sure Mssrs. Shortz and Fagliano are responsible for a few, too, but I hardly ever think of those two. Hah! (Sorry guys.)