Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Tuesday, October 1, 2019, Erik Agard


The week of great crossword constructors continues with Mr. Agard. By the way, I realize that by saying this, if tomorrow I don't mention it, a constructor may feel put down. So let me just say that all the constructors for the NYT crossword are great, and leave it at that.

They say OPPOSITES attract, but in this set of themes, they're separated to outer edges of the theme answers. The shaded squares make it very clear what's going on. I would prefer no shaded or circled squares in my puzzles, especially when there's a revealer. Let the "aha" moment live!

Meanwhile, these are some nice finds, especially OFFSEASON and WETLAUNDRY. UNDERCOVER is good, but there's not much room for the two words in the phrase, so somehow it seems more obvious.

The grid is nicely constructed to allow for some flow between sections, while still segmenting enough to give the corners the space for chunks of white squares. Note that there are only two down answers that cross three theme answers, and they're the very interesting AFROPUFF and SKYHOOKS. With BEYHIVE, ZENDAYA, and Eartha KITT, there's a very nice nod to some great black Americans.

I like the clue at 64D: Partner for life (LIMB). That's excellent work there, in my favorite category of non-QMC. But the QMC at 55A: General whose orders are sometimes carried out? (TSO) is also very funny.

And going along with my week of blogging, note that 1D: Sashimi, e.g. (RAWFISH) is a fine answer. Not that I take a raw fish, mind you, but I know a lot of people seem to enjoy it.

- Colum


  1. 6:53
    Yes, this was well-done, not at all a FIASCO, UHUH. Nice that SCENE is over TRYST (the former thought of in the Austin Powers '60s sense, of course). Everyone loves an OBLATE spheroid. BELIZE is definitely on the list of SPOTs to visit. KOOK is excellent.

  2. 5:46

    Mmmm... RAWFISH...

    This was a new-to-me theme that I found very clever!

  3. For whatever reason, "General whose orders are sometimes carried out?" just grabbed me. I suppose I've probably even seen a similar clue for TSO before.

    Hadn't actually heard of an AFROPUFF, but fortunately the crosses weren't too hard and the "afro" part made sense from the clue.

    There's just a lot to like about this puzzle. Glad I read the comments here, because between that and re-reading the grid, there's just more to like.

    And yes it is FOIE gras, not FOIx gras.