Friday, July 12, 2019

Friday, July 12, 2019, Evan Kalish


An excellent themeless today. I had to work hard at just about everything. The only nit I'll pick comes at the crossing of HOLI and EMILE. I CHANCEDIT by guessing the L and was correct, but that's a Natick waiting to happen, IMO.

Two great clues in the NW illustrate the toughness of this puzzle. At 2D: Letter found between two vowels in the alphabet (THETA), I knew something was up, because what English letter could be stretched out to five letters long? The alphabet portion was key in suggesting the Greek version, but I wasn't sure which letter to use, and my knowledge of the alphabet in question has greatly atrophied over the years. For the record, the two vowels are eta and iota.

The other great clue was at 7D: Part of Caesar's boast (ISAW). Well, I know what I saw. It was four letters long, which works for any of words in the original latin phrase. So I knew, deep in my soul, that the first letter had to be a V and the last an I. This made the section much harder than it had to be, clearly!


Apparently there was a lot of confusion going on.

17A: An anchor is at its end (RELAYRACE) is very nicely done. Non-QMC the way it should be done. 49A: This clue's number divided by this clue's answer (SEVEN) was a nice aha moment. Come to think of it, there is not a single regulation question mark clue to be found in this grid. And it's about time that the universe's SCRUB, DWEEB, and LONER population is recognized.

And so on to the poetry:

Behold, the SEA itself,
And on its limitless, heaving breast, the ships;
See, where their white sails, bellying in the wind, speckle the
      green and blue,
See, the steamers coming and going, steaming in or out of port,
See, dusky and undulating, the long pennants of smoke.

- Colum


  1. 12:12 (paper)

    I, too, fell for the "put in v, blank blank i" trick, and I also had NOSEringS, INAMinute, and RIBletS, but even with all those missteps, I still feel like I tore through this one on paper.

    The HOLI/EMILE cross was a guess for me, too, but I CHANCEDIT too.

    I liked many of the clue/answer pairs, and for the most part, I thought it was quite good.

  2. 23:24
    I took a chance with STARSHIPS, even though they're not technically a thing outside of sci-fi as yet, so the "v" problem didn't strike me. But still I'm nearly twice the time of each of you. I often think I could benefit from some CHEMICALPEELS and NOSESTUDS, perhaps INSTEREO. Nice that another sci-fi staple, TELEPORTS, ends out the acrosses.