Saturday, October 26, 2019

Saturday, October 26, 2019, Sam Trabucco


This grid is symmetric across two axes, so every corner is exactly the same size and configuration. Which means we can rank how successful each corner is! My favorite game.

4: SE corner. BEATEASE and IMPELLED are fine but unexciting. 36D: Big name in mail-order catalogs (SPIEGEL) was tough for me. I'm amazed to find out they've been in business since 1865, with the catalog existing since 1905. I'd never come across it myself before.

3: SW corner. I like all three 8-letter answers, particularly 29D: Biden time? (OBAMAERA) - that's a cute clue. I tried msPACMAN before getting JRPACMAN. 1983 seems like a very long time ago all of a sudden. On the other hand, I'd rather not have to encounter Mr. ASSANGE in my Saturday morning puzzle, and ACHATES is a tough get, although the crosses were all fair.

2: NE corner. A couple of good clues in 11D: Snack that, despite its name, doesn't help with weight loss (THINMINT) and 12D: They require you to read the fine print (EYETESTS). Both good non-QMCs. MORDANT is a great word.

1: NW corner. The winner! You get a nice timely clue and entry at 1A: Symbol of Halloween (BLACKCAT), the fun METOOISM for all those vowels, and SPINNER, reminding all of us of fun times had playing Twister. Certainly more fun than Operation, wouldn't you agree?

Add in the four excellent crossing long answers (my favorite there is 18D: Many of the world's rulers use it (METRICSYSTEM) - a really outstanding non-QMC), and I very much enjoyed this puzzle. Nice end to the turn. I'd be interested to hear who liked this puzzle more and who liked yesterday's puzzle more. My money's on this one.

- Colum


  1. 9:22
    Yeah, this was a fun one. Just seemed to race along. Definitely more fun than yesterday. And yes, METRICSYSTEM was the best. I'm adding that to the list.

  2. 23:28
    Do we still have BREAKDANCERS? Despite my time, which is over both of the above times combined, this went right along for me. ACHATES is unknown to me, but as Colum mentioned, the crosses were fair. I wanted "box set" where BOXEDSET goes, but that didn't hold me up too much. PERE was nicely clued (28D Champagne pop), as was LEOPARDPRINT (27A Hot spots?) despite its use of a question mark. Nice to have ATLANTIS and MATHLETE in the puzzle, and shout out to SUE.