Thursday, May 9, 2019

Thursday, May 9, 2019, Lewis Rothlein


I realized something was going on in the NW. Mind you, that's not a huge surprise on a Thursday, the tricksiest of the theme days. But I wasn't sure exactly what until I filled in the NE.

Basically, six times in the puzzle, the answer to the given clue has to be found by lopping off the sides (i.e., the first and the last letters). Nicely, however, the answers with the letters still in place are well accepted words or phrases.

My favorites are the ones where the added letters make you reparse the original word. Thus, 60A: Not this or that takes "other" and turns it into SOTHERE. Similarly, 59A: 30th anniversary gift takes "pearl" and turns it into UPEARLY. Those are some really nice finds. 14A: Two-masted vessel (SKETCHY) is the least interesting to me.

In essence, this is really a themeless puzzle. The structure, especially the large chunky corners of white spaces, looks like a Friday or Saturday puzzle. And that doesn't bother me at all. I think as the years have gone by of solving the NYT puzzle, I've grown to enjoy the last portion of the turn the most.

Some great words here: HARBINGER is lovely, as is MANIACAL. And in terms of clues, 3D: Second person? (ALTEREGO) is excellent, as is 14D: Rod on reels (STEIGER). For just plain silliness, we can all enjoy 7A: Verses versus verses events (SLAMS).

And for yet another day, NEURO makes an appearance. It's as if they knew I was writing the reviews this week!

- Colum


  1. way too long, over 1/2 an hour! (no errors)
    Well, I wanted all those lopped off pieces to spell something...or at least anagram to something - can't have everything.
    Lovely review today, Colum - and, I agree - in fact, there have been many years when I just worked the Thu, Fri & Sat puzzles! Hmmmm
    FWIW - MANIACAL came to me in an instant! Must be my state of mind :)

  2. About 20 minutes on paper (FWOE)

    I thought of you, Colum, when I entered NEURO!

    I liked this one ok, but I, too, wished for more from the lopped-off letters. It was tantalizing to have three of them make words (by, it, to), but I suppose it would be hard to make a sentence from six two-letter words... maybe we ask too much.

    Anyway, the MCTEER/LENA cross got me. I thought long and hard, and eventually went against LENA because I was thinking "why wouldn't they just clue it with Ms. Dunham?," but I guess this "Game of Thrones" show is a popular show? :) This is what I get for not keeping up.

  3. 24:11
    Since I'm commenting backwards from Saturday, I know now that this puzzle took me the longest of the week (I don't, offhand, remember my Sunday time, so let's not count that one). I didn't know what was going on until I'd gotten a few. I enjoyed BALONEY, as well as the others; I guess I don't require as much from a theme as some. It's amazing that people come up with this stuff to entertain us for a little while each day while helping us stave off the Alzheimer's for just a little longer. Mmmmm...MOCHI.