Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tuesday, January 23, 2018, Jim Hilger


I am beginning to wonder if Mr. Shortz knows that it's my week to write the puzzle reviews. Yesterday, we got APT as an answer, and today, Apt features in the clue for the theme revealer at 68A: "Apt word to follow each row of circled letters." From north to south, the circled letters give us wing, cheese, magazine, middle age, point, and bed, all of which could be, more or less, aptly followed by the word SPREAD. In fact, they are all pretty apt, but I think wing SPREAD is less apt than wing span. My aunt and uncle used to bring a cheese spread to holiday gatherings at my parents' house that was actually called Middle Age Spread. Apt!

Other nice entries were spread around the grid. I like OCTANE, TACT, VERGE, VALID, and SOSOON. You don't see ORANGERIND every day, well, that is, unless you juice your own OJ quotidianally. I liked TAKE AMEMO for several reasons, although I was sorry it couldn't appear as one long answer. I wonder how often one hears this request in today's offices. It brings to mind the song, "Take a letter, Maria," which came out in 1969. That's about the era I associate the activity with.

I think the clue for 51D, Deep sleeps (COMAS) should have added, "but not in a good way." Did anyone else try conSTANtinopLe instead of ISTANBUL at 56A? :)

There were a few entries I would not have OKED, given the opportunity. My least favorite, even if this is a Tuesday puzzle, is 8D, U-turn from SSW (NNE). Hmph. Other VALID, but on the VERGE of being a LOAD include REL, UVW, LOD, ITEN, GARS, OBOLI, SEM, and ITER. Just my OPEDS.



  1. 6:06
    Now that I'm a manager, I'm going to start barking "TAKE AMEMO" as often as I possibly can. I'm going to do it WHERESOEVER I happen to be. I will be a STERN boss and insist they call me SIRE. What? That era ended in 1969, you say? SOSOON!?

  2. 9:39
    I've never once told anyone to TAKE AMEMO. I don't know about WING SPREAD (I've heard wingspan), but the other theme answers are common enough. I'm also not sure about the singular AVENGER. I didn't try conSTANtinople first. And I've never in my life come across the term OBOLI.