Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019, Alan Arbesfeld


Cute theme today of four diminutive animal names used in common expressions. Me, I grew up saying "kitty-corner" instead of CATTYCORNER, but I'll let it stand. (I prefer saving "catty" for "cattywampus," even though I never actually use the term.) The other three: DOGGYBAGS; BULLYPULPIT; and PIGGYBANK, are unassailable (or should I say un-ASPERSE-able?) in their acceptability. So thumbs up there.


In the verticals, I enjoyed MYITSLATE (Comment made when itching to leave a dull party) (or, "personal to-do list of computer-related chores") and OLDSOUL (King Cole was a "merry" one) up in the NE corner, but ERNO and GIAN beside those two left a bit of an ACHE.

DYNASTY (Ming or Qing, in Chinese history) and MENTORING (Helping a protégé) fit in more comfortably in the SW, and were crossed by the colorful quartet of CHARADE, AEGIS, GAUNT, and ELEGY. That's a nice corner. I don't even mind AGUE... but I suppose it's all what you're used to, eh? (I'm sure Colum wasted no time dropping in GIAN up top...)

And speaking being used to things - I'm not terribly familiar with YORBA Linda (despite the connection to #37) nor LUANDA, Angola, though I'm not proud of it in either case.

In all, I think the only answer that's truly just "filler material" is INE (Suffix with nectar or serpent). But in a grid with such a pleasant, simple theme, and so many interesting other bits, one little INE won't get a single ERG out of me. :)

- Horace


  1. 4:14
    Dropping GIAN right in (as well as ERNO) wasn't as much of a help as you might expect. I had difficulties with YORBA, ASPERSE, and LUANDA, which all made this slightly harder than usual for a Monday. Worst of all was blanking on Peter SELLERS. I mean, really? I must be getting old.

  2. Hmm, I'm kind of tempted to YAkAT this one. No doubt my Finish With One Error is a factor, but also a lot of proper names.

    Oh and the way the top left and bottom right are mostly unconnected to the rest of the grid.

    OK, enough downsides, what was good. Well I haven't thought about a LECAR for quite a while, and I must admit it just seems campier (in that 1970s way) with age. I liked MYITSLATE. And even ASPERSE I kinda enjoyed. Because although I'm not sure I've ever seen it before, it is a natural formation from aspersion.

  3. 5:39
    Like Horace, I grew up with kitty-corners, but will accept CATTYCORNER. YORBA Linda is well-known to me, but LUANDA isn't. I did not, however, blank on Peter SELLERS, and I think I may be older than Colum. Definitely not a BORE of a puzzle.