Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday, January 7, 2018, David Steinberg

Vowel Play

I hope this puzzle was more fun to create than it was to solve. I found it more of a grind than a joy, although local circumstances may have put a LIMIT on my enthusiasm. I solved the 140-word puzzle on my iPad, which made for very small squares and something of a muddle where the answers had multiple multiple vowels. Plus, I was somewhat pressed for time this morning because we have tickets to a show this afternoon and today is the inaugural "hand-off" review, so I wanted pass the baton to our esteemed co-blogger Mr. Amory as early as possible.

Never having constructed a puzzle myself, it's difficult for me to ASSESS the difficulty of creating such a puzzle, but it seems like it must have been quite a challenge. After I got the trick of it and entered a few of the theme answers, I wanted to put it down. It might have been more fun if there had been fewer of the trick answers and if those few had been clever or interesting pairs. But, of course, such pairs may not exist. :) DANGEROUS/DUNGAREES might be my favorite, but I also enjoyed FOULCALL/FUELCELL. I thought the clue for FUELCELL (Juice container?) was nice  I also like ICHOR (Olympian blood). You don't see that every day.


The "Vowel Play" caused some CARFIRES in the grid. All right, that's some STRONGTEA, but entries like LAMIN[AE], TOG[AE], [OA]TSEED, EL[EA], EL[IA]S, and D[UE]IN left me underwhelmed. I did enjoy the entry SA[OI]RSE mainly because I had just seen Actress Ronan on SNL where she sang an amusing song about her name. Unfortunately, the song focused on pronunciation rather than spelling, so I still got a little hung up at WHATATOOL/WHITETAIL, but I got there in the end, so to speak. :)

Over to you, Mr. Amory!



  1. 53:07
    Yeah, this was a real slog. Not knowing the trick at first (but aware that it had something to do with vowels), I had a real time trying to get the theme answers and their trick crosses. I'm not too bright, I guess, because I didn't really figure it out until about forty minutes in, and then, as Frannie mentions, I just wanted to put the puzzle down, but I soldiered on. The first entry (1A Start of the third qtr. (JUL)) was terrible for obvious reasons.

  2. Incredibly brilliant construction, not the most fun to solve. DEALAMEAL? Is this real? Is anything related to Richard Simmons real, come to think of it? Looking forward to starting to blog tomorrow.

    I know we were planning on sharing a blog post on Sundays, but maybe we'll do that next weekend.

  3. 26:33
    I agree, this was a masterpiece but also a tough slog.

    And ICHOR was a menace for me as I had no familiarity with it.

    Frannie - if you decide to try your hand at construction, let me know and I can give a few quick pointers to [hopefully] save you from some of the research that I had to do for getting started.

  4. Brilliant, all right, but with reservations. How the hell is the answer to “complete“ ATOZ?

    1. Hi Howard! Thanks for commenting.

      You may be mis-parsing the answer. A complete list would run "A to Z."