Friday, June 28, 2019

Friday, June 28, 2019, Bruce Haight and David Steinberg


When I saw the byline today I knew I was in for a treat. Two veteran (and yes, I think we need to call Mr. Steinberg a veteran even though he only just recently graduated from college) constructors working together on this asymmetric, yet attractive grid. The two grid-spanners, along with the three bat-like shapes in the center, create a mini Friday theme. Some in the crosswordosphere bristle at any phrase that includes the pronoun "one," but I don't mind. I think BATSINTHEBELFRY is a zippier entry than SPREADONESWINGS, and sure, maybe "spread your wings" is more common, but I think one has to make a few allowances when one is confined to a 15x15 grid. :)


Well, Dear Reader, I don't mean to brag, or jinx myself, but I've been having a good "1A Week." Again today, I dropped in (as I'm guessing many did) LEFTJAB (The "one" in "the old one-two," maybe), then LISSOME (Like a ballet dancer) and ESPANOL (Language akin to portugu├ęs), and soon after that, FURRIER (Hide seeker) (Fun clue) also fell into place. The rest of the puzzle flowed smoothly from corner to corner, and I ended up back in the middle, where I guessed the D of ELROND (Lord of Rivendell in "The Lord of the Rings") and DRDREW (Physician on TV's "Celebrity Rehab"). I've never heard of DRDREW or that show, but the name alone kind of makes me sad, and I wish I had never learned of it.

Fun clues today included "Meet at the river, pehaps" (REGATTA), "Way off, say" (RAMP), "Doctor" (TREAT), and "Skinny" (DIRT). Lovely entries like the aforementioned LISSOME, ESSENCE (Soul), ANODYNE (Blandly agreeable), and SNOCONE (Summer cooler) helped to make it an enjoyable solve, and more crosswordsy answers like OPIE (Relative of Aunt Bee), LEO (Any of 13 popes), and AMA (Q&A on Reddit) made me feel like an old pro. Which, I guess, I might be becoming.

Overall, a fun, breezy solve.

- Horace


  1. 16:42
    Sometimes you're on the right wavelength, and sometimes you're not. I made a silly mistake which I fixed before the end: at 9D and 10D I put LEW in twice (messing up LES), which left me with ____NEwWINGS. I couldn't unparse that, so the NW corner, which evaded me initially had to be worked out bit by bit. Anyway, the puzzle is good overall, but that "one's" is a frustrating thing. It's just not great.

  2. 10:33
    I entered LEFTJAB immediately, too, and really had no slowdowns whatsoever in this grid. CAMERAS is showing up quite a bit lately, no? I'm familiar with DRDREW, but would never watch "Celebrity Rehab." I don't think that Horace should feel too sad about the show, although he certainly wouldn't enjoy watching it too much, I don't think. Nothing too difficult, but nothing really jumps out at me as outstanding. ELROND is unknown to me, but all of the crosses dropped right in.

  3. @Colum Interestingly, Will Shortz has told me in the past he prefers phrases like SPREAD ONES WINGS to SPREAD YOUR WINGS - he feels it's easier to clue, and I agree

    1. Now that you mention it, I see that if it were "SPREADYOURWINGS" it would be very hard not to duplicate the "your" in the clue... fascinating. I can't speak for Colum, but I'll have to consider this when next I see such entries.