Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thursday, August 29, 2019, Jeff Chen


I didn't understand this theme very quickly (a good thing on a Thursday), but once I did, I really liked it. It's tricky how the clue reads "Word that can ...," which makes it seem like a singular answer is called for, but then the "or" in the answer makes the three-word answer possible. And each pair of answer words is, of course, a well known dyad.


And there are plenty of them! GIVEORTAKE, INOROUT, FRIENDORFOE, DOORDIE (Door, die!), and BOOMORBUST. That's alotta thema! As they might say over here in La Bella Italia. Where, by the way, we will not be having any Chicken or veal PARM. And speaking of food, as I type at the kitchen table in our clean and well-appointed AirBnB, the air coming in through the open window/door to the terrace is infused with the smells of a nearby factory. Ordinarily, you might think that would be a bad thing, but this factory is the one that makes Nutella (among other candy treats), and so the whole place smells wonderfully of chocolate! Just one of the many things to recommend the lovely town of Alba. (Maybe we should morph this into a travel blog... or am I doing that already?...)

I hit a little snag when I entered UtrapS instead of UBENDS (Fittings under the sink). The real answer is a bit strange, but I'll allow it, as it allows for MURMUR, CAREFREE (with its lovely clue "Insouciant"), BIPEDS (with its excellent clue "They can stand on their own two feet"), and FINNS, an answer near and dear to this Demi-Finn's heart.

FOGOFWAR is an evocative (if bellicose) answer, and its symmetrical cousin IBEFOREE (First part of an English "rule") is just the kind of thing that makes crossword puzzles worth solving. In fact, the whole grid oozes with ENOCH bonus material to make any blogger's day. SOJOURN, ADZUKI, RINGTONE (A few notes that require answering?) (Nice!), the excellent SERIFS (They often end letters), the pair of hidden capital "Grande" clues (ARIANA & RIO), ... it's dense with theme AND good fill. For that, we accept the ODDER bits like ETAS, RBIS, and SSNS, and we don't GAWP at PISH

A SPERRY nice start to the turn.

- Horace


  1. 19:35 (on paper)
    GAWP is great, isn't it? I wanted sIN down at 62D, but was thinking, "that's more of a trig calculation, not a Calculus one." But then BOOMORBUST came in and the much more appropriate MIN. POPOFF is excellent, and I enjoyed the generic clue for TAKEI (8D "Star Trek" cast name), although it didn't make me pause for even a second. SPERRY is not known to me, nor was JAVIER Perez de Cuellar, although I was able to fill that in off of the "J" because what else could it be? Decent Thursday.

  2. 9:31
    I had a heck of a time in the SE corner, particularly because I put "ncf" and "afl" in at 53A: Raiders' org. (DEA). I'd never heard of ADZUKI, but what a great word to put in the puzzle! Excellent theme, fun cluing. Just the sort of thing for a Thursday.