Friday, January 31, 2020

Friday, January 31, 2020, John Guzzetta and Michael Hawkins

39:39, Big Fat FWOE

The above might be a BFFWOE, but it's definitely not a BFF FWOE. :( I was vexed, although not entirely surprised, when I didn't get the congratulatory message from the app after completing the puzzle. Even after I had finally spelled the excellent SRIRACHA correctly - revealing the amusing RENEW (Keep the books? - ha!) - I couldn't figure out 22A: "Know-it-alls" or 23D: "Last name on a shoe box" and sadly, no ECLAIR enlightened me. I grasped at straws for four-letter shoe makers, in no way helped by the shadowy George COE (original cast member of "S.N.L.") or "City south of Luxor (ASWAN), so I ended up trying "beAN" on for size. That gave me SWAbIS, which I thought was funny and vaguely possible, but it had the unfortunate effect, which I failed to notice, of making Mr. Coe a bit too e-zie. Although I  have heard of MCAN shoes, that sure is kicking it old school. I tried to ARGO that "Know-it-alls" is too negative to be a match for SWAMIS, but Horace suggested the clue might have been meant as 'all knowing.' Derp.

Anyhoo, let's kick up our heels and enjoy the many clever clue/answer pairs in today's puzzle. Some of my favorites were
"Where all the pieces fall into place" (TETRIS)
"Taken with" (KEENON)
"One with lots to sell" (AUCTIONEER) - Trixy! I kept trying for something in the realm of real estate.
Potter's house (GRYFFINDOR) - I needed the Alohomora spell to open my mind up for this one.
"Suggested, with 'of'" (SMACKED)
"Forks over" (SHELLSOUT) - a clue/answer pair with a nice parallelism.
"'What's the skinny?'" (ANYNEWS) - mostly for 'the skinny' part in the clue. That's a great expression.
And talk about kicking it old school with MCAN, how about STOLE for "Bit of attire for a fancy night out"? That one could have been clued, 'Succumbed to the temptation offered by a WILDPITCH.' :)

PENDULUM, ELDORADO, and ROSEBUD are also nice.


There were some clues that I thought couldn't be said to be LPN this grid reach the ACME of puzzledom, including "'Am ___ brother's keeper?'" (IMY),
"___ board" (EMERY), and "Roller-skating in the house, say" (NONO), but they were SPARS.



  1. 10:15 (FWTE) - and really not okay. I knew things weren't right in the SW corner. at 52A: Statement often accompanied by an eye roll (ASIF), I tried ibet, then iSee, then iSIt (see how I was getting closer and closer?) ONtILE really seemed wrong, but iGEE didn't seem impossible. They really GOT(I)ME.

    Otherwise this is a puzzle to marvel over. I am impressed that you didn't succumb to the temptation to end your review with ANDSCENE.

  2. 17:15
    This puzzle didn't put up any roadblocks for me. I didn't know Mr. COE, but I did enter MCAN right away, which helped, and even though I, like Frannie, was thinking of realtors instead of an AUCTIONEER, the former just would not fit. I originally spelled SRIRACHA with a "c," but since cENEW didn't make sense, I changed it. I also tried milAN off of the ___AN where ASWAN belongs, but the crosses saved me there, also. All of the saves happened pretty quickly. Boy, I remember poring over the Sears catalog every Christmas season and making a list for MAILORDER (although I thought I was making it for Santa, of course). Nice, clean, enjoyable puzzle.

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