Saturday, January 25, 2020

Saturday, January 25, 2020, Stella Zawistowski

0:27:32

Whew! That was a struggle!

But as we frequently say, we enjoy being JARRED by end-of-The-Turn puzzles. Take "Where did you go?," for instance, whose nine-letter answer (ALMAMATER) took at least six crosses, possibly seven. LABORIOUS! But in the best possible way. :)

ROBIN

I did not recognize Ms. Zawistowski's name, so I checked xwordinfo. This is not another debut, but it is her first grid since "retiring" from constructing crosswords in 2010. She said she came back because she had come to feel that Saturday puzzles were getting too easy. Well, Ms. Zawistowski, mission accomplished, I say.

I plodded through this one, breaking in with the very little stuff like UNE (Ravel's "Pavane Pour ____ Infante Défunte") (It could be little else), ENT (Otolaryngologist, familiarly), NEE (At birth), and LUX (First word in Yale's motto) (It's last word is Harvard's motto in its entirety). And from LUX I got LOOSEST, AUS, SOSAD, and PIXAR, and AIRBALL, and then, slowly, worked outward from there.

The eleven- and nine-stacks in the corners were really nice. I have never heard DURANCEVILE (Fancy term for a long prison sentence) before, but when I was left with guessing the first letter, it kind of made sense.

The NW was where I finished. I did not know FIGUREEIGHT (What mathematicians call a lemniscate) (I wish I had!), and I did not remember Ruth NEGGA from when we saw her on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," and I made not one, but two wrong guesses (TierS and then TReES) before finally seeing TRUES.

I love a challenging puzzle, and this one certainly fit the bill. But will it play in PEORIA?

- Horace

4 comments:

  1. 10:16
    The NW to SW half took almost no time at all. I knew NEGGA and got OVINE from ANGER, and with UNE being a gimme, the rest went quickly. I love PALAVER, ENGELS, MOHEL. Such good stuff. Unfortunately, I couldn't TRANSFER that speed to the other half of the puzzle. That part took about 7 of my 10 minutes. And really I lucked into it: I had FLUME and guessed NYE, and after staring for a while, EMILYBRONTE jumped to mind. I finished with the excellent ALMAMATER (as you said). Truly a wonderful Saturday.

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  2. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  3. 28:37
    My first pass didn't result in too many answers: ENT, NEE, TACO and MIMOSA. But the rest slowly started filling in, with the "D" of DURANCEVILE being my final entry. Luckily, I had the _EB, and it could really be nothing else. Really nice Saturday, and just about as difficult as it should be, I thought. I didn't know the term for the FIGUREEIGHT, either, even though I'm a math major. DONTJUDGEME.

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