Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Tuesday, January 1, 2019, Gary Cee


So now it's 2019, is it?

I hope everybody had a fun and safe New Year's Eve. We spent it with our good friends Horace and Frances, as we have done for the past five years (and other previous years when we lived in Boston). I have known these good people for nearly 25 years now. It is a piece of good fortune to meet kindred souls on our travels through this world. Good laughs, stupid jokes, a love of games, and the odd philosophizing. Good times!

In the meantime, today's puzzle, the first of the year, pretends to be merely PASSABLE, in that the first word in each of the theme answer phrases is something that can be "passed." I find this a very tight set of answers, with excellent strong phrases. 37A: Music staff notation (TIMESIGNATURE) is my favorite, both for the connection with music, and also for the surprising "passing the time."

Things I liked:

  • AGHAST crossing TREMBLE
  • 47D: Tolkien creature (HOBBIT) not being "ent" or "orc."
  • PRONTO is a great word.
Things I liked less:
  • Alternate spelled SAREE
  • BEANER. This is not a term that anybody uses, that I've heard. "Beanball" works better.
  • Sam ERVIN and Hammond INNES. Who?
Otherwise I found it just fine. Here's looking forward to many more good puzzles this year.

- Colum


  1. 6:38
    Yes, SAREE was unpleasantly surprising and terrible. But like Colum, I was pleasantly surprised with the appearance of HOBBIT. I noticed, in addition to Colum's other standouts, that BRIGHT crosses TORCH..., and I was happy to see LASSIE instead of the ever-present Asta. In relation to the New Year's Eve celebration on our local station TV 38, I recorded the five-hour STOOGEs special last evening, but have yet to view it, as Sue took today off, uncharacteristically, and would never have gone for that. This puzzle is a good start to the new year on balance.

    1. Welcome back, Huygens! I heard you would be starting up again, and am happy to see your byline.

    2. Thanks Colum! Nice to be back. I resolve to be more steady this year.

  2. I thought it was a lovely puzzle! And Huygens, while I initially felt the same way about SAREE as you did, I do think the clue for it, using "Ranee" instead of "Rani" was a good save -- it actually helped me by tipping off that the answer was just as much as a variant as the clue! Happy new year to all! :-)

    1. Hi Kelly! Thanks for your comments, and Happy New Year to you as well!

    2. Hello Kelly. Yes, that's true. The clue does save the answer, which I failed to consider.

  3. It was a fun time, Colum! Frannie and I were discussing that new game a bit on the way home, and we have some suggestions for future variants. :)

    Thanks again for hosting, and for agreeing to continue with this crazy blog venture!