Thursday, October 17, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019, Randolph Ross


Today's four theme clues are pairs of words whose last and first letters are the same, and which have something in common. The trick is to identify the common denominator and add a word that connects them in a specific way to get a common expression.  So the answer to 20A: WILDERAYBURN is SPLICEDGENES (Gene Wilder and Gene Rayburn). Ha! An excellent Gene pool, if ever there was one. MILITIARMY (COMBINEDFORCES) is really good. UTAHAWAII is another nice one (UNITEDSTATES), if a bit obvi.


Amongst the theme answers there's a commingling of other fine fill including PLACID, MOSHER, LEADFOOT, ARREARS (heh heh), and ADDUCE - you don't see that one every day. And I love the word BUDGE. Seeing "Grimalkin" (CRONE) in the clues brings me back to a mystery series by Scott Corbett that I loved as a kid. It featured a character named Mrs. Graymalkin. And yes, you guessed it, she was an older woman who was suspiciously witchlike.

"French bean" (TETE) is cute, as is "Play groups" (CASTS). And how 'bout CUBIT (Biblical measure)? Arks are really floating someone's boat these days.



  1. 10:01
    Fun theme idea. I loved that the theme answers were abutting row to row. I just barely managed to avoid the FWOE today. I had nUDGE but realized as I was about to finish the puzzle by filling in ALANHALE that nFA wasn't a true degree. Whew! COSMIC.

  2. I loved it. And I agree with Colum about the placement of the theme entries. Very nice puzzle.

  3. 8:47
    We just saw ALANHALE recently, didn't we? Still I needed crosses to remember him!

    I don't think I knew the definition of ADDUCE before today.

  4. 20:14
    I tried nUDGE at first, too, but corrected it with the cross early on. ADULT could have had a bit more blue of a clue, IMO. CONSULATE is a nice longer entry, as is SIDEBURNS (even though I don't personally enjoy them in reality). Definitely an enjoyable theme, even though it didn't make for a COSMIC Thursday solve. ALANHALE is always welcome; he did a fine job in "The Giant Spider Invasion."