Monday, April 8, 2019

Monday, April 8, 2019, Tracy Gray and Jeff Chen


In something of an intersection with today's puzzle, I saw a deer at the side of the road on our way to a dinner party Saturday night. Unlike in today's puzzle, however, there were no DEERCROSSING signs in the area. I'm not sure if the animal I saw was DOE, STAG, HART, FAWN, or HIND, but I daresay that's due to a deficit in my data banks. It would behoove me to brush up on the Cervidae family.

Horace's review yesterday pointed out that the black squares in the center of the grid spelled out the theme letters SOS, so I looked at the black squares in today's puzzle. There is a big cross in the bottom center, but is unclear (to me) whether it is meant as a reference to the puzzle's theme. Maybe the upper black squares represent antlers, or birds, or trees in the forest. Maybe I should reduce my DOSAGES. :)

Like a deer on the run, today's puzzle covered a lot of VARYING ground from ACRE to OMEGA by way of HOOHA (!?!), plus GUAC, GRIFT, GOTHS, and GAYBAR.

I enjoyed "Hit with a deft comeback" (ZING), "Stuns, as with a phaser" (ZAPS), and "Assailed" (HADAT) - all kind of an INTENSE come to think of it.


ATFIRST, I was MOROSE about AVERTS for "Wards off, as danger" and
ALE for "Bitter beer" because they didn't seem to ring true but I looked up the definition of both wards off and ale and the antlers I found convinced me that I OTTER change my tune.



  1. Well I hadn't especially heard of a HIND, but I was just nerd-sniped into reading it far more than I would have expected about the red deer species group (which includes the elk/wapiti). And now that I think about it there is also the ship the Golden Hind, which is a nice historical reference. Although I really think they should make up their mind: is that ship named after a golden deer or a red deer. It seems a bit sloppy.

    Other than that, high point was seeing "spokeslizard" in the clue. Probably been done before, but did tickle my funny bone.

  2. 6:17 (paper)

    I noticed the black-square cross at the bottom of the grid too, and wondered if it was for the many times deer cross not with other deer, but with cars. :| But really, I think it must just have been a product of the left-right symmetry today. At least I hope so...

    Nice review, and nice picture of Woodsy! :)

  3. 5:39
    Maybe the cross is in honor of Lent. I tried in vain to fit PANflute in where PANPIPE belongs, because that's how I'd always heard it referenced, usually in concert with Zamfir, the Master of the Pan Flute. Funny that SEXY crosses PIX. Mmmmm...MILANO.