Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Tuesday, November 20, 2016, Zhouqin Burnikel


We're getting closer... You know it's almost Thanksgiving when the puzzle has a turkey theme.

In today's installment of Colum expressing sentimental thoughts of gratitude, I'd like to give thanks for the luck I had to be born in a part of the world free from armed conflict, famine, or endemic disease. I know I take this for granted just about all of the time, but there's no way I could live the life I live (let alone write crossword puzzle blog entries) in one of those parts of the world. So there's that.

Meanwhile, back in turkey-time, the puzzle today gives four examples of sites that could be defined as "Turkey's place." I love WESTERNASIA here. How well put. And BOWLINGALLEY is excellent as well - here, a turkey means three strikes in a row. I have no use for this definition in real life, having never reached this particular accomplishment, but it was fun to come across it in the puzzle.

Meanwhile, it being a Burnikel grid, you know there's going to be some extra nice stuff. 10D: Very confusing (CLEARASMUD) is excellently pithy. 28D: Garnish for a vodka tonic (LEMONWEDGE) is also good, only not quite as good, because I don't take a vodka tonic personally. VAMOOSE is very good.

I also very much like 41D: Place to get a tattoo or some ice cream (PARLOR), just for the image of a person going to one place to get both of those items.

OUTA and EUR are not such great entries. And it was somewhat depressing to see both GUN and WMD in the region of WESTERNASIA. All too true, and hearkens back to my gratitude. How apt.

- Colum

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