Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thursday, April 25, 2019, Jon Olsen


Boy, this one almost got me! Everything but that middle section went right along - even kind of easy-seeming for a Thursday - but then I don't know how long I fretted over that PIA_ATS and PLY_ section. I knew KAPPA (24A: ____ Alpha Theta, first Greek-letter sorority in the U.S.) and SILVER (30A: Argentina was named after it) had to be right, and what else could "34A: Assents at sea" be except AYES?


I don't know why it took me so long, since the answer was practically spelled out for me with the rest of the themed clues: HAPPYFACE, COLONHYPHEN, PARENTHESIS, and EMOTICONS. At last, I entered the "Elements of a [HAPPYFACE]" into 39A, and finally made sense of "39D: Blot on a landscape" [EYES]ORE, "25D: Perches for some musicians" PIA[NOSE]ATS, and "26D: ____ Rock" PLY[MOUTH]. Whew! LOCO!

Once I had entered the entire words into the squares and finished the puzzle, they turned into the traditional COLONHYPHEN and PARENTHESIS, but I'm not sure whether I could have just entered those elements instead of the words ... probably I could have. If you did, let me know.

I enjoyed seeing the mnemonic "Every good boy does fine," and quickly entered "gclEf," before correcting it to NOTES. And speaking of things musical, I did not realize - or at least did not remember - that the "End of every verse of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'" is BRAVE. Interesting.

A few other tricky clues: 19D: It's more than a fling (HEAVE). Nice. 31D: Center of the Krupp family dynasty (ESSEN). Who? 44D: Raised block of the earth's crust, to a geologist (HORST). OK, if you say so. (Dad, did you drop that one right in?), and 63D: Alternative to Gain (ERA). I take it GAIN is some kind of detergent?

I liked the challenge today. The theme was fun, the rest of it was fine.

- Horace

p.s. It's a debut! Congratulations, Mr. Olsen!


  1. 25:59
    I did try to enter in the little emoticon symbols - but my ipad app does not even have ) or : on its little keyboard. So, I had no success with that. It did let me enter the words with its rebus function.
    And, thank you for the "NOICE" picture...took until just now to parse that one correctly! yikes
    It must have been my misspent youth, but my geologists friends were forever stopping at "interesting" road cuts and talking about horsts and grabens! I was able to dredge HORST up from the depths!
    I liked this puzzle - and was particularly tickled by those middle squares! Good job!

  2. 10:01
    Great puzzle! I too had everything except 39A, and was wondering if putting "colon" in would make a word with _____ORE ("colonore?!"). I was in a little trouble for a bit because I'd put in Wait and SNeerS. aeRST seemed incorrect, but after all, HORST was an unknown also. The rest of the puzzle was a breeze, as you noted, especially with all those interconnected answers. Interestingly, I tried COLONperiod first. It would make a different kind of HAPPYFACE.

  3. DNF in 25:14
    This one got me, even though I knew it had to be an eyesore somehow in the center. I tried just sORE, thinking it might have been the black square above that that was an "eye." I should have expected the rebus, but didn't, so DNF it is. Rare for a Thursday, and disappointing.

  4. This puzzle actually infuriated me. If we're going to start introducing emoticons as crossword answers, we can kiss English as a language goodbye. What's next? Heiroglyphs?