Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday, December 18, 2017, Bruce Haight


Inside four mild-mannered (well, maybe MADEMONEY doesn't fall into that category) entries today are found INNERDEMONS! My favorite is CODEMONKEY (52A: Computer programmer, disparagingly), but it's pretty cool that one is also found in CLAUDEMONET. It's a common occurrence for artists, although I don't remember hearing about Monet being particularly crazy...

Some nice bonus downs in the "chunky-for-a-Monday" corners, including ALLMALE (2D: Like Chippendales revues), ANOINTS (11D: Ceremonially names), LOVETAP (12D: Light, friendly punch), MADDASH (42D: Frantic rush), and INAWORD (45D: "Briefly ..."). Sure, we also get SOAPING (3D: Marking, as windows on Halloween) (?), but it's heavily outweighed by the rest.


I enjoyed the rebuke in 38D: Source of arrogance (EGO), the slapstick comedy of 53D: Attacked from below the hip (KNEED), and the strangeness of 39D: Jaw-dropping opening? (YAWN).

I'm a little down on DYAD (51D: Twosome), especially on a Monday, because it's nothing that anyone ever says. It might be nice if it were used - "Boy, that Horace and Frannie sure make a nice DYAD, don't they?" - but it isn't. And HAJI (33A: Muslim pilgrim) is always a little confusing, as I've seen it also spelled "hajji" and "hadji," and Wikipedia adds the variants "alhaji," "al hage," "al hag," and "el-hajj." And if it's a woman pilgrim, it's "hajjah." I think "hadjii" is even acceptable in Scrabble. Maybe that's plural.

Anywho, that's quite enough on that. There were enough GAINS today to avoid me getting too DOWNON the puzzle. Maybe not enough to get a WOW, but certainly enough to keep me from being CRUEL. (I sometimes wonder whether constructors, if they happen to read these reviews, are amused by these appropriations of HANDY grid content, or if they roll their eyes and YAWN.)

Overall, I enjoyed it. MERCI, Mr. Haight!

- Horace


  1. 4:17
    That NW corner! 15 seconds into a Monday and no answers entered until EMU... I did not see the theme until the revealer, which I always enjoy. I did notice how all of the second words started with MON, and thought there might be some kind of a progression theme. Not a fan of RACEFAN or ITOLDYA though.

    1. P.S. the NYT sunday paper came out with a mini-GAMES magazine potpourri of puzzles including a 53x53 crossword. That'll take a while!

  2. Great write-up Horace, and you seem to have it with no help from the incredible dyad of Colum and Frannie! I was worried that inner demons would be a bit too dark for the breakfast table, but this one was quite well received actually. Happy holidays! Bruce

  3. 4:12
    Not much to add to that already noted by the esteemed dyad of commenters who have preceded me.

    I loved MADDASH, which has me wondering whether CHARRETTE (my second favorite word) has ever made it into the puzzle.

  4. 6:55
    I guess I was in SLOMO compared with others; perhaps my AXONs weren't firing too well. No one likes SNOWSIN, especially just before the official onset of winter. Some non-Monday fill slowed me down a bit: HAJI, SOAPING, CODEMONKEY, ENTOMB, even ORBITAL, though INAWORD, it's always refreshing to have a bit of a challenge. Shout out to GIN.