Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, Andrew Zhou

Between 8 and 9 minutes, on paper.

A theme appropriate for the vernal equinox. I love that the seasons' names are misspelled (or homonymized, I suppose), and I especially love "sprink" for "spring." Hah! They're all great, really. Somer, ottom,(an) windtur. Fantastic. GOLDSTARS! Right on Mr. Zhou's forehead!

The grid is a little tight in places, and there's that strange THREERINGBINDER sitting in the middle... I like a grid-spanner as much as the next solver, and it's cool that it intersects all the theme answers, but it just seems a little odd to have the word "three" so prominent in a four-season puzzle. Is that being too picky? Too "type-A?" Probably.


Favored "other fill" entries today include UMAMI (17A: Prized taste in ramen) (and other foods!), OZARK (3D: Southern Missouri's ____ Mountains) (What?! I just like the name, all right?), CERES (26D: Largest object in the asteroid belt), MEEK (62D: Easily pushed around), and GAWD (64A: "Good ____ almighty!"). I was unsure of that last one, and would have preferred "Good ____ a-mighty!" as a clue, but, well, I've come around on it.

Maybe we should have another side collection (along with favorite clues) called STUNTSHOW, for Bruce Haight, and others, who do things like make a puzzle using only 8 letters, or quadruple pangrams, and the like. Is STUNTSHOW really a thing otherwise? I say we legitimize it!

So in closing, I say to you (even though the local forecast calls for 6-10 inces of snow tomorrow... grumblegrumblegrumble...) Happy Spring!

- Horace


  1. 9:12 (FWOE)
    Yes, Happy Spring. I agree, great, appropriate theme and very well done. I only hesitated at the cross of TORII and ORU, eventually settling on an "s" for "state", but no. So there's my error. I understand the BoSox SEASONOPENERS is right around the corner. And also yes, too Type-A on the "three" thing. Relax over there! The worst thing for me about the impending storm is the timing, since it's unlikely I'll have the day off. That means I'll need to clear a pile when I return home rather than keep up with it, but I can't complain.

  2. 8:02 (FWOE)
    I spent too much time trying to parse the theme, which was definitely fun to figure out but not at all helpful with the solve.

    I also made the same error with OSU rather than ORU.

    It was nice to see our friend Horace in this skit on Saturday night - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO9Fk2mjhbw

    Looking forward to seeing everyone in a few days at ACPT (assuming the roads are passable).

  3. 5:24
    I... almost made the same error, but saw TOsII and realized that couldn't be correct. Fortunately I made much of the fact that I didn't know TORII when I failed to finish a puzzle some months ago, so it jumped back to my mind in time.

    I sort of agree that THREERINGBINDER is odd, but well placed, so I give it a pass.

  4. I made the TOsII error and also SuMERSAULTED. So I guess I am one upping the rest of the commenters by one square.

    There aren't really any bad answers in this puzzle, are there? I mean, I guess ITLL is a bit desperate and IOS is the new "etui", but look at all the good ones: OZARK, LAMPS, REHAB, EMBER, etc.

    Took me 10:35 (with two errors). A touch slow perhaps but fairly typical for me on a Tuesday.