Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sunday, May 19, 2019, Natan Last


Another puzzle, another new theme. Mr. Last has gone fishing in his own grid, and has found seven fish to hook and pull up to the top of their respective Down answers. In 1-Down, for example, "Gym rat's development," the answer ought to be "workout routine," but the word "trout" that can be found spanning both words has been hooked and pulled up to the top, yielding TROUTWORKOUINE. Odd, but pretty cool. I guess that to create such a thing you'd have to first come up with the phrases, then alter them and put them into the grid, then start to build around them. And the fact that he could find seven such phrases that could be worked into a grid symmetrically is kind of amazing. At least to this MOOK.


CODMOLLYDLE (mollycoddle) is probably my favorite of the theme entries, but CARPMAGICETRIDE is pretty good too, and the clue for PIKESDPUNCH (What might get you a "ladle" drunk?) was fun.

With the theme running vertically, all of the horizontal space calls out USEME for interesting fill, and so there we find the timely STORMSURGE (Danger for coastal residents), the full PAULSIMON and CANNERYROW, and the full-on French phrase AVOTRESANTE (French toast) ("To your health"). I've heard of "cold fusion," but never COLDFISSION. Is that just what we usually think of as plain old fission?

Favorite clues today included:

27A: It "should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable," according to a saying (ART)
33A: War loser, usually (TREY) - The card game, not the military game.
2D: High pitch, maybe (BALL) - Baseball, not music.
13D: Works with numbers (OPUSES) - Music, not math.
64A: They're full of hot air (DRIERS)
87D: Delightful event? (OUTAGE) - Guffaw.

Things I did not know:

ARGOSY = Flotilla of merchant ships
DESI = Member of a South Asian diaspora

I enjoyed the challenge of figuring out what was going on today. I don't know how they keep coming up with these puzzle theme ideas, but as long as they do, I'll be trying to solve them. :)

- Horace


  1. 51:49
    Great idea for a Sunday theme! Even after I figured out what was going on - actually fairly soon - I had to work and work to find each pesky fish and where it fit in the scheme of things! My first was "Magic Carpet Ride".
    I wanted the TLW answer to 27A to be "god" - but, not everyone has my taste in deity powers! ha!
    I had the most trouble along the left side - "Brah", "TBS", "Paul Simon", "Driers", "Yeesh", "Liege", and finally "Ended" all eluded me for way too long!
    Thanks for the review!

  2. I agree with MLou - YEESH is a doggone mess. What with trying cRIERS for 64A: They're full of hot air, I had the unholy cIg instead of DIY, and a FWTE ending. Otherwise I love the puzzle. What a crazy idea, and a lot of fun to figure out the phrases with the fish sitting at the top.

  3. 46:41 (FWOE)
    I confidently entered SHESfINE at 3D, giving me the unlikely fOOK at 28A. I thought this was a fairly odd theme that tried a little too hard and ended up insisting upon itself. NLEAST it entertained me for a little longer than a typical Sunday. I prefer sake to SAKI, and SPIT doesn't belong in any grid, but no big complaints from this corner.