Thursday, August 2, 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018, Xan Vongsathorn


A stunt puzzle! What TH?? Each square with a circle in it could be filled with an H[eads] or a T[ails] based on COIN FLIPS without, so the revealer claims, affecting any of the clue/answer pairs. For example, the clue for 31A/D is "Breaking records, maybe" and the answer could be either HIP/HOP or TIP/TOP. I especially liked TINT/HINT for "Slight coloring" (6D). That one was paired with the more sedate STOCK or SHOCK value. The pair at 1A/1D deserves mention for the entertaining clue: "Something at the end of the hook?" FISH/FIST. HAHA! BASHES/BASTES at 56A  is nice for its non-rhymingness. And HEATRAY/TEATRAY is notable for its change in word boundary. I liked the theme ALOT.

I don't think the rest of the fill was afflicted by the ILLS sometimes associated with a stunt puzzle. I liked KITED, ASTUTE, LAGGARD, SHEAF, STABILE, SLATE, KEVLAR, and SLIVERS.

The answer NYE for "Dec. 31" took me a minute because I went the easy route with crossword darling evE at first. 5D: "Place for a mogul" (SKISLOPE) is fun. And I thought 67A: "Falling down in a pillow fight" (EIDER) was ducky. :)

Overall, an excellent Htursday puzzle!



  1. 7:58
    I think you mean TAHA, which is what I ended up with, and which is why I was less than ebullient about this theme. After reading your review, however, I have come to a new appreciation. The HIP/HOP, TIP/TOP answer is downright genius. And really, the H/T standing for heads and tails, and the circle standing for the shape of a coin, well... it's pretty darn good.

  2. This one was fun. I especially liked how so many of the themers had two different ways of interpreting the clue for the two answers.

    Fast for me: 15:33, and that's including the time to go through the grid and flip all the coins to "H" since that's what the correct answer checker seemed to want.

  3. 5:35
    Loved this puzzle. It's such a great theme, and the use of the circles to represent coins is great. I went with all Hs from the get go, because I couldn't see how the T worked in the T/HITLIST. "Tit list?" And how about "Teat ray?" Seemed juvenile. So when I went back after completing it and saw TITLIST and TEATRAY the way they were meant to be, I had a great "aha" feeling. Lovely.