Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018, Peter A. Collins

5:40 (on paper)

Day 2 of my new endeavor went well... or perhaps today's puzzle was a little easier than yesterday's? Likely a combination of the two. I also had many fewer missteps. The only place I had to erase was at 5A where I tried fLAp instead of SLAT, a term I much more closely relate to window blinds and crib construction than airplane wings. I did use Frannie's advice in one square, where I now have a heavily penciled R over a previous V.

I am amused by today's theme, revealed by the homonymic MEETINTHEMIDDLE. We get four instances of meats hidden in the middle of longer phrases. The print version had these squares in gray, making it too obvious what was going on as I was solving. I'd much rather they'd just left them white. Then it would have been fun discovering the various viands.

Meanwhile, it's an excellent job of hiding the instances of cooked animal flesh across words in the various phrases. I particularly liked LIVEALIE, as the hidden victual crosses three words! NORTHAMERICA was the least impressive, although who doesn't like ham? Well, observant Jews and Muslims, I suppose. But maybe it's just because they haven't tried it.

Too soon?

Anyway, the fill was reasonably good. I enjoyed ZOOTSUIT and SPACEX. Having TBTEST right next to MSNBC was pretty harsh, as I spent some time convinced I had messed something up. I also liked MONKEYED. I'm not convinced by CFLAT. Coming across one of those notes in a score means the composer is just mean. (That's not entirely true - if you're playing a piece in G-flat major, it will come up a whole bunch. F flat would be much worse).

Well, that's my JOBS done for the day. See you tomorrow!

- Colum


  1. 8:17 FWOE
    This has been a slow week for me. Maybe my brain is getting saturated, as I have started doing three puzzles a day (staring January 1).

    Oh and I flubbed the cross of SSTAR and SANAA. I know I have seen SANAA in puzzles before but just couldn't remember it.

    The squares were gray in the online version also - I agree it would have been more fun without them.

  2. An entertaining review, Colum! I also tried fLAp where SLAT was wanted. Funny to see the Humdinger/LULU pair again so soon. I thought Sweat spot was a nice clue for PORE. Perhaps predictably, my favorite clue was Tip of France? EURO. Ha.

  3. 7:14
    Shout out to ITALIA, and oddly I knew EBBETS field off of the clue. I, too, liked ZOOTSUIT and MONKEYED, and no matter how often they show up, I like SKORTS. I came across another beauty product "big name" that I didn't know today: ARPEL. That made me guess at the "A" in SLAT because I wasn't sure if an airplane wing had a slot, slit or slat (I assumed it didn't have the "u" variety, and there's no such thing as a slet or slyt).

  4. 6:21
    Well, I think you're doing all right on the paper solving!
    I liked this theme quite a bit. And Mike, you should look up some photos of Sana'a. I did that once (for inclusion in a review) and the city is really beautiful. It's a UNESCO site, and one of the oldest cities in the world. I'm not going to be planning any trips to Yemen any time soon, but because of all that, I remember it pretty well now.