Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday, May 18, 2019, Erik Agard and Andy Kravis


At first this Saturday grid doesn't appear too FLASHY - no super-chunky corners, no grid-spanners - but the more I look at it, the more I like it.


First of all, there are several fantastic clues:

15A: Porter of note (COLE) - Hidden capital.
37A: Hard core (PIT) - Like a peach pit. This was my favorite today.
45A: Arizona rival (NESTEA) - I was thinking college sports, and feared I'd never get it!
60A: Something to build on (LOT) - Cute.
17D: One looking for bugs (BETATESTER) - Was thinking of a spy or an ambassador...
32D: That's the ticket! (CITATION)
36D: Bad choices in it might cost you an arm and a leg (HANGMAN). Hah! Nice one.
42D: Foreign correspondent, maybe (PENPAL). Quaint, but still good.

We also had four "spoken word" clues:

26A: "It's futile" (NOUSE)
36A: "Let me demonstrate" (HERESHOW)
53A: "What a jerk!" (SOMEPEOPLE)
21D: "Go right ahead!" (SEEIFICARE)
and one more if you count the one that referenced actual spoken words -
38A: Sports star who once declared "I am America" (ALI)

Yesterday, in talking about his puzzle on, Adam Fromm used the term "word putty" for what we often call "glue." Those words, abbreviations, partials, and what-have-you that are often used in crossword construction. They are sometimes foreign (EIN, UNO), sometimes abbreviations (MIN, NSA, AFC, ATV), and sometimes just small words (POX, LOT, MAT). It might seem like a lot of putty today when it's all written out like that, but for me it is thrown into shadow by ENTICING entries like CASABLANCA, MOCCASIN, SHORTRIB, and GRATIN. Mmm... GRATIN....

Overall, this was a fun Saturday.

Thumbs up!

- Horace


  1. 7:32
    Oh, I enjoyed this one very much. HANGMAN was probably my favorite clue and answer pair today, but PIT was excellent as well.

  2. 24:25
    HANGMAN was my favorite, by far, but this was a solid, if not FLASHY, offering. Regular crossword solving gave me NEMEAN without too many crosses, and I tried pickS where CAPOS belongs, but there weren't too many slowdowns. I learned a new term today: TIGERPROOFING. Also, I tried stoNE off of ___NE, but it turns out it was TONNE, corrected by the crosses.