Monday, August 19, 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019, Peter Gordon


Today's puzzle is a twist on an old concept: the revealer is a word which phonetically can be reduced to two letters, which then represent something about all the other theme answers. In this case, it's ARTIE Shaw whose name tells us that all the theme answers use only R and T as their consonants, and no others.

That's an odd thing to do, but I liked the longer entries that displayed this condition, such as TEETERTOTTER, RATTERRIER, and ROTOROOTER. On the other hand, TORATORATORA is a bit less interesting since it repeats the same word three times. Also, the partial TREATER is pretty rough as far as fill goes.

I suppose it would be a hard job to ensure that there are no other instances of R or T throughout the rest of the grid, seeing as those are two of the five most commonly used consonants in the English language. But wouldn't that have been something?

Since there are 84 squares devoted to the theme (and that is a ton!), there's not a lot in the rest of the puzzle to remark on. I'll mention the math nods at 1A and 53A (PLATO and EULER), and that ORNE and TION are rather DRAB, and leave it at that.

- Colum


  1. Ah, re-reading the clue TREATER makes perfect sense. Don't know why I wanted TREAT (and then two random letters for who knows what reason). Maybe I, in my haste, read it as "thing said by kid" rather than "kid"?

    Favorite answers? Probably RECTOR and TAHINI (just for being cool words). Well, and PISA was fun although I wasn't sure whether it was in ITALY (which turned out to be correct), or whether that would be a province name or something.

  2. 3:42
    Yeah, TREATER isn't great. And ever since - through crosswords - I learned that "iterate" is a word by itself, I always think of REITERATE as being redundant. But who am I to change the world?

    Also, has anyone ever heard of RITAORA?

  3. 7:07
    Count me as one that never heard of RITAORA; maybe she's the victim of BADPR. I will add to Colum's nod to PLATO and EULER, and I'll note that Horace frequents (or did) ATWOOD's. I'll side with TRATTORIA as a favorite among the themers. Decent Monday, but it took longer than usual for some reason.