Saturday, November 23, 2019

Saturday, November 23, 2019, Trenton Charlson


Wow. This was a good old fashioned Saturday struggle for me! I chipped away slowly with little things like EDDA, ERR, ACE, POI, POE, LEA, NIPAT ... and then after guessing CASTLES (Moves two pieces at once, in a way) and putting in "like" at the end of 5D: Oafish (APELIKE), I was able to get PARKINGGARAGES (Places where drivers get tickets), and then, finally, I got a little traction.


False starts for me included pAdthaI for SASHIMI (Dish often served with soy sauce), erasmuS for AQUINAS ("Summa Theologica" philosopher), LABratS for LABMICE (Experiment subjects), SliPSIN for SEEPSIN (Enters gradually), Somme for SEXES ("The Battle of the ____") (D. W. Griffith film)), INSertS for INSOLES (Arch supports), and the one that took me the longest to remove - ironMAN instead of AQUAMAN (Founding member of the Justice League). I was probably confusing my super hero universes with that one, but when I'm trying to solve a puzzle, I can't always be counted on to think entirely rationally. Take the AQUINAS/Erasmus thing - AQUINAS is much more likely, of course, but Erasmus was the first philosopher that came into my head, and it fit, so in it went. Anywho... all that made for a slower solve. 

But none of that diminished my enjoyment of the puzzle. It's just the kind of Saturday I like! HILARITYENSUES (What happens after a zany plot twist) was a great anchor in the lower half, and I liked the "Term of endearment" combo (PRECIOUS/BABE). The connection from corner to corner was a little tight, which made it seem almost like four separate little puzzles, but I don't mind that as much as some reviewers do. (Hi Colum!)

My final of the four little puzzles was that NE corner, where OUTKAST (Rap group with six Grammys) was on the outskirts of my ken, and SILENTW (Who's first?) elicited the required groan only after everything but the last letter had been entered.

Again, this may sound like a negative review in some ways, but challenge is what I want on Saturday. This had only a few little bits of glue, and nothing that was at all objectionable (if, that is, you don't find the word SACS too off-putting).

- Horace


  1. 13:10
    I am now ready to start commenting on the week, and will go backwards.

    A lot of great stuff today, and a lot of not so great stuff. HILARITYENSUES is one of the best long answers in a long time. It's a staple of this very blog (wacky cluing, and then...). Each corner was its own puzzle, but I didn't mind as much today as other days. I got AQUAMAN off the clue, so AQUINAS was very obvious from the Q. But it took me a long time to get 10D: Usual suspect? (BUTLER) and SILENTW as always was a tough get.

    The NW corner wasn't nearly as good, although SKIPPED and GENETIC were clued nicely with the "Passed on" duo. I liked the SE corner with 38D: Willing subjects (ESTATES) and 52A: Combo component (ALTOSAX).

    Overall, a fun challenging Saturday.

  2. What a terrific solve! AQUINAS was a gimme for me, and though I'm not much of a comic book person, it sure helped with AQUAMAN. But I've gotta tell you...when HILARITY ENSUES fell it, I fell in love! :-)

  3. 32:02
    A fun Saturday struggle. I got AQUINAS right away, also, which gave me AQUAMAN, but like Horace, I tried LABrats where the much more Saturday-worthy plural LABMICE belongs. The SILENTW and BUTLER cross was my final entry, as I was at my WITSEND in the NE. The middle fell quickly, giving me a necessary link for the four puzzle areas. CLIPART was nicely-clued, and who knew about SHARIFS? LOTS of FINESSE in this construction, and a nice-looking grid, too.