Thursday, November 21, 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019, Emily Carroll


I was happy to see Ms. Carroll's byline today, and I was happy when I finished her puzzle! From start to finish there was plenty to enjoy. I'll start with one that many might consider obscure, and which, with all those lovely "word-ending" letters, might have been an almost accidental entry - RENNES (City in NW France)! Frannie and I have both spent a lot of time in Brittany's capital city, and it was a real treat to find it in the grid today.

I'm guessing that more universally enjoyed entries might include DEMOLITIONDERBY (Smashing good time) (Nice clue), ROMULAN (Part of a militaristic "Star Trek" race) (Everybody likes Star Trek, right?), OPENBAR (Where to find free spirits) (Everybody definitely likes an OPENBAR!), and the new-to-me-but-still-hilarious SITUATIONSHIP (Romantic gray area). I was working from left to right, and I could fill in the first part with confidence, but I didn't know what the end would be, so for a while I had SITUATIONiffy. Heh.

STYMIES (Foils) and BARRICADE (Block off) are good words, USBPORT (Mouse hole?) and MASTS (Supports for a naval expedition) got cute clues, and STATION (Social position) reminds me that we just saw a performance of H.M.S. Pinafore last weekend. ("Yes, yes, the lass is much above his station!")... FASHIONISTA is fun, and I like how ONETOGO is - in a sort of visual way - the second-to-last Across answer in the grid. It's not according to the numbers, of course, but just look at it!

Anyway, I very much enjoyed this one. I hope you did too.

- Horace


  1. 9:38
    Yes, that's right, 9:38...possibly my best Friday time ever; no STYMIES or SNARL for this solver. I was sitting waiting for Sue's car to get an oil change and just whipped it off. Horace is correct in that I got RENNES only because it ended a bunch of entries that I could guess (TIN was trivia, but I had ANOINT and BRITISHINVASION was kind-of a gimme). I enjoyed the whole grid, and could WARP be a sister entry to ROMULAN? I liked the other pairing, too: Big (SUR & BEN). LAVERNE could be a little old-timey for some FANS, but I give this FINE Friday a score definitely above a BPLUS.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish!

  3. 8:37
    Nice time, Huygens! Ms. Carroll is a shining star in the NYT xword constructor firmament. This is a great example. Just look at 3D: Smashing good time (DEMOLITIONDERBY) right adjacent to 4D: Some needlework (ACUPUNCTURE). That's brilliance both in the gridwork and the cluing. I love the clue for 22A: Summa cum laude spoiler (BPLUS). Any grade would have worked, but the just missed aspect is perfect.