Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wednesday, August 21, 2019, Samuel A. Donaldson


After my minor rant yesterday about e-clues, I see that Mr. Shortz has taken my complaint to heart by publishing today's puzzle. Which is... well. Confusing?

So we have seven (7!) examples of answers with no vowel other than E, clued with E-blank, where blank describes the category of the answer in general. Thus, we get 18A: E-book? (THESECRET). What is The Secret? It is A Book. I guess it was a fairly popular self-help book. When I look it up on the Googles, it certainly looks familiar.

And this is my complaint. Why is DELETEDSCENE a specific example of "waste?" I get 52A: E-business? (MERCEDESBENZ) - that absolutely qualifies as a business whose vowels are all E. Similarly for 58A: E-mag? (SEVENTEEN). But the others seem ad hoc. Oh, well. It's a fun idea. I had an idea for an e-theme some months ago, but I've forgotten what it was, and really, that's why I'm sitting here blogging about a puzzle rather than being blogged about. Those who can, do, and those who can't... well, you get the idea.

The upshot of all of those answers is that there are 44 Es in the grid, outnumbering any other individual letter by nearly 3 to 1. Perhaps I would have been more excited by this puzzle had there been more interest outside of the theme answers. I liked 39D: Hits back? (REARENDS) as well as 21D: Bounces off the wall, say (ECHOES).

Otherwise there was a lot of BAG LAG SAG EDT AFL OOX ERN ERA EON EVE EOS SCH. Rough going.

- Colum


  1. 8:35 (FWOE) (Got carried away with the Zs in MERCEDEzBENZ)

    Yeah, it's a bit of a stretch, and I'm not really even sure what a TERMSHEET is... but what are you going to do? It's Wednesdey.

    I, too, loved REARENDS... it took me so long to parse it correctly! And nice picture of a piddling puddle of a MERE. :)

  2. 10:43
    I thought it a decent puzzle, but yes, strange idea. REFERENCELETTER is shockingly e-d; it's such a common thing, and to think it's got no vowel other than e. It was fine, but certainly not sparkling. Are we to consider EWE, NET, EVE, ZEES, ERN, MERE, EMCEED, FLEECE, EDT, SET, ESTD and CRED as theme bonus fill?