Saturday, April 7, 2018

Saturday, April 7, 2018, Mark Diehl


Fun and zingy. First off, who knew that COFFEEMATE was a Nestlé product? But more, I am amused at the way we PRECESS from a non-dairy creamer to an ONIONBAGEL, and finish it off with a BEERGARITA. I am a fan of most things alcoholic, but I'd almost certainly draw the line at that last option.

The high point of the puzzle came at the crossing of ZENOSPARADOX (such lovely Scrabble scoring there) and IMNOEXPERT. I also love the peculiar look right in that area of DOUP and RUBRAW.

What do people think about such answers as MENUPAGES? Is this a real thing? I mean, yes, you might actually say it in specific circumstances, but on the whole it feels manufactured for the puzzle, IMO. The clue was nicely misleading though: "They're flipped at diners." Similar feelings could be broached about FAIRDICE. It seems like those are just "dice." The ones you need to qualify are the loaded ones.

But really, I'm just picking nits. My favorite moment of confusion in my mind came at 46D: "Hundo". I was convinced this was a nickname of a famous Boston sports player. It wasn't until after I finished the puzzle that I realized I was thinking of "Hondo," which was John Havlicek's nickname. The clue itself was actually pointing to CNOTE. Sometimes we all can suffer from TETANY of the mind.

Strange fact: ONEAL and ONEA are in the same puzzle, and have no relation to each other.

We're all keeping our fingers crossed for an entertaining Sunday puzzle!

- Colum


  1. 58:35
    When I finished the puzzle, I said to Sue that it took me nearly an hour, but Colum probably finished it in eight minutes. I was a bit off, but not terribly. I found the NW pretty difficult. COFFEEMATE was not known to me as a Nestle product; I was looking for some sort of _______bar, which slowed the crosses down (AGITATE, TETANY, and ELAND), even though I entered ELAND several times off of the "D" since I entered TANDEMS pretty quickly. I agree about BEERGARITA: never had one, never will. The rest of the puzzle fell in about 30 minutes or so, even SQUIB, RICHE and the questionable MENUPAGES (on which one would probably note a TUNAMELT). I needed crosses for the "FAIR" part of FAIRDICE, and tried NflDRAFT for NBADRAFT, but neither slowed me down too much. PRECESS is excellent, as we all enjoy the precession of the equinoxes, don't we?

  2. 45:47

    This was very hard for me. Especially the NW and SE. I disliked TRAMROUTES, MENUPAGES, FAIRDICE, and BEERGARITA, which I have never heard of. I'd probably try one, though, especially after a hard solve like this! :)

  3. Pretty tough, and BEERGARITA gives me icky chills.
    Cool thing - Mr. Diehl is a dentist, hence the OPEN WIDE fill... I like when the constructor's spirit is in the puzzle. He's deviously fun!