Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday, June 20, 2019, Trenton Carlson


So today genius constructor Trenton Carlson has put together this crossword puzzle, where the responses to the clues start with consonants. You might think this some minute matter, but the feat requires complete concentration. Take, for your model, the first clue's reply: SMTWTFS. Note how, because the letters start the first through seventh down words, Mr. Carlson must needs deploy words that reject vowels totally. The same holds true with the words that hold positions beside the grid's rim.

Thus, NBCTV, SFPD, TBSPS, SSNS. More strikingly, note NFLTEAM, likewise TEXASBBQ. These words require those shortened consonant strings for those sections next to black squares within the puzzle's confines. Color me bemused!

To be fair, were this the whole gadget the puzzle was conceived by, no more, we might not be so pleased. But there's more, like the Ginsu knife commercials from past years liked to say. NUTELLA, beloved chez nous. STPAULIGIRL, not so beloved, but chunky nonetheless.

LITMUSTESTS, which we wish had been better heeded when selecting the latest justice to the Supreme Court... But no politics here, hear? PROTOZOAN. Verily, the horn flows beyond the limits, plentiful to please the mind.

Yet, when deciding whether this puzzle passes from fine to magnificent, perhaps the trick proves no wonder, for this review follows the same rules!

- Colum


  1. 16:03
    Nicely done review, Colum! Both that and the puzzle were quite the feats. I'll just add to the above review a couple of clues that I starred, having solved for 4:45 on AcrossLite and bringing the partially-filled printed version with me to work for the other 11:18 on paper. 52A Pyramid, e.g. (SOLID) appealed to this math geek, although I prefer the more limited subset of Platonic solids, of which there seem to be only five. And I thought that 26D Rush job? (RADIO) was tricky, even with the question mark. Nice to see nephew MATT's name in the grid. Finally, I have to admit that it's been so long since I've had one, I have no recollection of the taste of a STPAULIGIRL.

  2. 11:09 (paper)

    We (royal) caught just the single "old" midst this review. Simply cut the vexing vowel-beginner, then complete success! Not bad, though. :)

    I am pretty sure that STPAULIGIRL Dark was the first beer I ever tried. Not a bad way to start, I suppose, but like Huygens, it's been a long, long time since I've had any more.

    I liked this one quite a bit. Nice stunt.

    1. Well caught, dear friends! The review has been corrected.