Saturday, May 4, 2019

Saturday, May 4, 2019, Mark Diehl


I was not getting much traction as I made my first pass through the acrosses this morning, but when I reached the last one, "Recipient of the wish at 1-, 8-, 53-, and 55-Across" I got my start. And, while the full word "fourth" fit the grid at 8A, it was pretty clear that the complete phrase MAY THE[4]TH BEWITH YOU was wanted. A quick check on 11D: "Toyota models since 1984" confirmed my suspicion that we were looking at a single number square à la the now-famous MAROON5 in Bruce Haight's 2017 ACPT puzzle. Having the four corners definitively filled in kick started the rest of the solve for me.

But, the energy of the fourth waned a bit with the two rather humdrum fifteens, PROCEDUREMANUAL and BALANCEDBUDGET, not to mention  OURTEAM ("Heading over a list of leading figures on a business's website"). Other fill including THEUNIVERSE (Space for everything), Solar or lunar eclipse, e.g. (EVENT), Wet ___ (NAP), Polite kids' plea (COULDWE), and Full monty (WHOLEBIT) tended toward the dry.

But, as a MODERATE, I'd also like to point out some of the WRIEST clues and answers:

Tail end of a dog? APSO - took me more than a few mos to get this one
Jeer leaders? (BOOERS) - the clue alone is great
Fashion lines? (ADLIB) - excellent
Took a spill, say? (MOPPED) - funny
Ones making glowing recommendations? (NEONS) - ha!

In the non QMC category I also enjoyed:
Some headway (DENT)
Finally hit the big time (ARRIVE)
Playfully fantastical (SEUSSIAN)
Makers of fine combs (BEES)

Also, nice to see ABEAM (Laterally, in a way) and then its matey, in a way, STERNS (Rears) right across the middle.


In sum, I would say that I felt like the fourth was strong in this one. And, as it's Saturday, and this is my last review for a while, I look forward to a fifth.



  1. 15:34
    Yeah, I finally cottoned to the fact that THE4TH had to be what was going on at 8A. I also like LUTES, because who doesn't take a lute now and again?

  2. 17:58

    I can't believe you didn't like "Space for everything" (THEUNIVERSE)! That was one of my favorite clues! So obvious, yet so hidden, and so perfect. Come on, Frannie! Space!

    But the rest of your review is right on. Some meh, some excellent. "Makers of fine combs"... Ha!

  3. 24:50
    I tried makeit at first for 2D (instead of ARRIVE - much better), which slowed me way down up there for a while. I also tried fourTH where THE4TH goes, but took it out quickly once I repaired a couple of the crosses for 11D, where I'd tried ravfouRS originally. I also erroneously entered BABYBag at 34D, making me try out goWITH at 53A. All of these things slowed down an otherwise fast solve. Luckily for me, MODERATE was necessary at 31D, and ITALIANWINE was required at 51A. Shouldn't 40D Denial to a denial (ARETOO) have been clued with the small robot, or does that strictly have to be "artoo," like we've seen?