Saturday, March 31, 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018, Kevin G. Der


I figured out that there was a trick to this puzzle pretty fast thanks to Horace muttering, "there's something fishy here" shortly after he started, which occurred while I was still doing my Dutch lesson of the day. When I did get started, I dropped in REDANTS with some trepidation. How often have I gotten the 1 across answer on a Saturday puzzle right out of the gate? The answer, as we all know, is that this was the zeroth time. I started to catch on to the back-and-forth nature of the answers in the northeast thanks to REBS, OAT and BAYLEAF. Then when I got to 19A. Most crosstown thoroughfares in Manhattan ... with a hint to this puzzle's theme (ONEWAYSTREETS) it all started to make sense. Even when I knew what was going on, I still got into a couple of jams, particularly in the mid-east. I was convinced that 24U. Slow and stately compositions was diRGeS - with 50% of the letters being correct and it being such a good fit for the clue, I was loath to give up on it. Finally, I decided 46A. Physicist's proposal had to be MODEL, which allowed me to get LARGOS and straighten out that corner.

An additional challenge for me, when solving on the app, is that it wants to put the letters in in normal reading order, which is usually a help, but in this case, it meant I would have had to figure out how to spell everything backwards. My brain does not work GOINGINALLDIRECTIONS, so I had to press the square for each letter to enter it, like an animal.

As much trouble as I had solving it, my mind reels at thought of constructing this beaut. It's stunning. To top it all off, it contains some great clues. IHAVETO list some of my favorites:
43B. Back on the job? (ABET) - so good.
20D. Banks on a runway (TYRA) - this hidden capital had me going for a while.
32U. The "I" of Constantine I (EGO) - tricksy!
36U. Poker giveaway (TELL) - I've always liked that word.
37D. Turkey club? (NATO) - ha!
57D. Rush-rush (GOGO) - How perfect is that clue/answer pair? That's what I call apt. Apt!
61D. Get into (DON) - nice.


Unlike being stuck in TOTALGRIDLOCK in real life, I really have nothing to complain about in this grid.



  1. 41:45

    Just beautiful.

    I'm sorry for saying out loud that something was fishy, but at the time, I really did not know what was going on. I kept wondering if there were another actor named McGregor that I didn't know...

    This was a mind-bending, fun solve. Really, really great.

    - Horace

  2. 41:40
    Yes, great puzzle! One of my favorites ever. A great, wonderful, slog. A 'maybe' moment, not immediately followed by an 'aha' moment, but rather a break in the clouds, then things become clearer, but it's still a mental exercise because, yeah, you have to think backwards and forwards, and, as Frannie notes, you can't type quickly (although I did start to spell faster backward by the end). And yeah, as much fun as it was to solve, I am also awed by the idea of constructing it.

  3. 15:34
    So much fun to solve. How did I figure it out? I had SPAS in place, and then hit 23D: Holden's younger sister in "The Catcher in the Rye" (PHOEBE). Apt, indeed, as we were in Boston, visiting with the daughter for her dance recital.

    This is a brilliant puzzle and deserves a place in the all time Hall of Fame.

  4. 49:37
    Agreed...beautiful and brilliant puzzle. I figured out the trick at around thirty minutes in, and things went much more smoothly then. I'll just say, by way of example, that I entered SosPadS at 8A, then took it out and entered brillOS, etc., until I finally made SDAORNI and solved the thing.