Saturday, January 11, 2020

Saturday, January 11, 2020, Andrew J. Ries


EGAD, this was a tough nut for this solver to crack. That's to be expected on a Saturday, I suppose, but man, parts of it gave me AMAJOR pain in the brain. On my first pass, the only answers I got immediately and with a fair degree of confidence were "Tool used on a padlock" (BOLTCUTTER), "Acrobat's platform" (ADOBE), "Bee activity" (SEWING), and "Pen pal's request" (WRITEME). Thanks to the two successes in the southwest, that corner fell first.

Elsewhere, in several cases, I had the right idea for the answer, but the wrong word. I started with 'caN' instead of TIN at 5A, 'Yog' instead of YRS at 46A, 'eta' instead of ARR at 8D - and, as an aside, 'eta' instead of nothing, which is what I had until I finally figured out where the emphasis was meant to go in the clue, and that goes ditto for the nearby "Grand standing" (PRESTIGE) - 'GOahead' instead of GOFORIT at 40D, and 'intestine' instead of PVCPIPING for "Makeup of some waste lines." Yes, I went there.

Other clues that were real attention GETTERs:
"Experience" (UNDERGO)
The emperor's old clothes? (TOGAS)
"Came down hard (on)" (POURED)
"V formation" (NECKLINE)


There were several things I didn't know such as BEERLEAGUE, TARPONS, and "Conference foes of the Buffaloes." For that one, I tried epee, item, and olio, but it was no UTES.

At 15A, "Number six in a group of five" was a valiant effort to boost ESP, but I didn't love it. OMEGAS (Series finales) wasn't high on my list either. "Lux. locale" (EUR) wasn't a favorite, either. In fact, that whole row is a little weak. The southern row of threes, on the other hand, was better, especially FIB for "'This tastes delicious!,' maybe." LOL.

It's been a fine week of puzzles, if on the tough side for this MIR mortal. I've VALUED our time together, but now it's time to EAVE things in better hands. GOFORIT Colum. YOLO!



  1. 26:54
    I moved right along with this, with the middle stack not offering much resistance. I didn't go there, like Frannie, so immediately thought of piping, but didn't know which type until I had some crosses. ESPN was a fortunate guess for 21A, and I'm familiar with TARPONS since I read sportsman columns regularly (twice per week) for some reason, even though I don't fish or hunt. DEMOTAPES seems a little dated, as did STENOG (do they still exist?). ABILENE was nice trivia, and brings to mind "If I had a gun for every ace I have drawn / I could arm a town the size of Abilene." SECRETRECIPES was excellent, and crosses EPICURES, which is also nice. Of course, I dropped AMAJOR right in at 59A being intimately familiar with the referenced piece, and I remember ORANGEADE, which is terrible, and that's no FIB. Nice shot of GELATO up there; that was one of my favorite things in Italia, especially how the flavors were indicated visually and unambiguously in the displays.

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