Saturday, June 29, 2019

Saturday, June 29, 2019, Kameron Austin Collins


"Pride goeth ..." eh? Yesterday, I bragged about maybe becoming an "old pro," and today Mr. Collins throws a curve that makes me look AMATEURISH. It's a beautiful puzzle, don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the solve immensely, even though I ended up with four errors. !

I was humming along (I "finished" in just over eleven minutes), when I saw AMORAL... beginning "32D: Principle associated with Machiavellianism" and I quickly put in AMORALIsm instead of AMORALITY. And then I got the rest of the nearby Down answers and never even looked at the clues for ATTA (Lead-in to boy or girl) (I'm so tired of this one) or DYAN (Actress Cannon). And my others error came just where, I'm pretty sure, you would guess they would, in the word OUROBOROS (Ancient symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail). The sad thing is, I have heard this word. The image showed up in artifacts found at an Etruscan dig that I worked on for a couple summers as a photographer, but all I could remember was the name of another figure found on some of the pottery there - "Potnia Theron," - and that didn't fit. To make matters worse, I guessed hOP for "Go (along)" (BOP) and I could not remember "Racer Luyendyk"'s name. So... DNF.


So that's my sad tale. Let's end with the happier tale of the rest of this puzzle! SUGARMAMA (Woman who spends money on a younger lover, in modern lingo) was a lovely start. I've been lucky enough to have one of those (Hi Frannie!) for the past many years. :) The long corner entries are mostly all zippy. I especially liked TENSPEEDS (so old school), KALESALAD, and SKIMOBILE (I like seeing this full entry instead of the oft seen "Skidoo"). EXTRAFRIES (Fast-food order not for the diet-conscious) is a bit ad hoc, as Colum might say, (as is NEXTDOORTO, for that matter) but I do like lots of fries...

MUCOUSMEMBRANE (Liner of the nose, e.g.) is gross, but an interesting answer, and HEBREWCALENDAR (What ends with Adar) reminds me that I will have to learn that calendar someday if I ever want to really become an old pro.

So, not perfect (I'm looking at you, ANISES), but nice and hard in parts, like a Saturday ought to be, and full of lively fill. I couldn't solve it perfectly, but I'm okay with that. What fun would life be if we were all out of challenges?

- Horace


  1. Much the same solving experience for me...fairly fast time, for me, at 17:18, but I had to "give up" and reveal "OUROBOROS" and "ZAPATISTA"! Darn that "Viva Zapata!" Many, many entries just flew right into the grid, including "MUCOUSMEMBRANE" and "HEBREWCALENDAR". I knew not of an 1983 apple computer, although, 2 years later, my college labs all started using the Apple IIe. My first "coding" experience.
    Thanks for that great Kazaam photo - I had almost forgotten such a thing!

  2. 6:25
    Making up for Friday. MUCOUSMEMBRANE is indeed a gross entry, but it made the puzzle much easier, as did recalling KAZAAM, Shaquille O'Neal's character in an otherwise forgettable movie. I wanted KALEchips, but had to give them up for the less appealing KALESALAD. Good stuff!

  3. 30:45
    Not nearly as nice as Colum's time, but a finish with no errors, nonetheless. There's something to be said for a slow solve. OUROBOROS is a word I'm pretty sure that I've not ever heard before this puzzle; I hope that it shows up again so I can just drop it in, as they say. The HEBREWCALENDAR is also unknown to me, mostly, so I needed a few crosses on the "calendar" part in order to finish it, having put the "Hebrew" in right away. ERASABLE is so simple, yet it took me a few crosses there, too, but like Horace, SUGARMAMA went in without a thought. I don't know about a KALESALAD. I'll have to work on softening techniques for the leaves (I've read about some of them) before I have one of those. I tried "amount due" where BALANCEDUE goes, but the letter count was not working out for me. A fun puzzle, which I had half-filled-in in under six minutes, but there you go.