Thursday, November 14, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019, Alex Eaton-Salners


Je suppose that we likely have very few readers in France. Eh bien, phooey upon them, say I.

Dans any case (okay, I'll stop now), today's puzzle takes the phrase FRENCHOPEN and applies it to four other phrases by replacing the first word with its French equivalent. Thus, "friend request" becomes AMIREQUEST. OUIINDEED. I was impressed for some strange reason by the fact that all four translated words turned out to be three letters long in their new language.

It's a fun concept, and well crafted. Apologies to those who don't speak français. At least all four of these words are common visitors to our crossword shores.

I can tell that Mr. Eaton-Salners had fun with some atypical answers. Note PTSD crossing BBQS. Similarly UNPC and APSCORE. I imagine that the vowel rich French words like "oui" and "eau" necessitated some of this, but I liked it nonetheless.

13D: Introduction to geometry? (SOFTG) proves once again that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. In this case, the horse is me, and the water is the type of meta-clue where the answer is a phoneme. I also almost fell for the situation at 18D: LAX listing (ETA). I typically leave the last letter blank until I figure out the crossing. Today I saw ___E_ at 23A and without looking at the clue closely, plunked in a D. Turns out 23A: Musician's better half? (SIDEA) is referring to the "hit" of a band's single.

I did fall for a similar issue at 35D: Latin 101 word. Will it be "amas" or AMAT? Leave that last letter blank! Only 49A: Reviews, collectively: Abbr. (CRIT) seemed to ask for a plural. Oh, well. That's probably the worst answer in the puzzle.

Favorite clue and answer today come at 38D: Frost bit? (POESY). Great hidden capital, wonderful word.

- Colum


  1. 31:36
    I had a great deal of trouble with this in the middle, what with COCO, ECCE, and CRIT being shoved in there. Add to that that I didn't really know what was going on until I hit the revealer, which wasn't for a while, so the theme answers weren't making much sense. I take to EAUSKIING, but even though I had the ___SKIING, and thought that I knew the crosses, I wasn't making the connection. Anyway, that led to my rather long time for a Thursday, but I'll agree that the puzzle was, on the whole, nicely crafted.

  2. 12:10 (FWOE)

    As a French major, I'm embarrassed to say that my error came at AMIREQUEST! I had dropped in the somewhat common NOd for "Recognition for an actor, informally," and it took me many minutes to finally look hard enough at AdIREQUEST to understand what happened. Sheesh!

    Aside from that, though, je l'ai trouvé assez amusant. I imagine COCO would have been happy to see herself in this grid.

    The AYEAYE is new to me. I suppose I should stash that away quelque part.