Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sunday, January 12, 2020, Evan Mahnken and David Steinberg


I’m back on board for my first week of blogging of the new year, 2020, Lord help us. In this peculiar weather (I took a run yesterday in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt), I no longer know what to expect.  And to top it off, I’ve got huge shoes to fill after another fun week of Frannie’s crazy reviews.

Today’s Sunday grand extravaganza takes the names of states and finds them in anagrammed form within longer phrases. All of the theme answers are done exceptionally well: note how the hidden anagrams cross multiple words in every case. Also, each of the complete phrases is a lovely answer in its own right.

For the record, here are the hidden states:

AFRICANLION (California)
SQUIRRELEDAWAY (Delaware) - my favorite of the bunch.
PERSUASIVEWRITING (West Virginia) - impressive!
SWORDANDSHIELD (Rhode Island) - this one took me the longest to figure out.

Elsewhere, I found myself most befuddled by 22D: Sticky roll (SARAN). I wanted “pecan” there at first, but “Freedom of the seap” clearly had to be incorrect. Other than that area, there was really hardly any resistance at all, and I found this Sunday puzzle to be on the easy side overall.

My most amusing difficulty today was misreading the clue at 41D: Noted export from Holland (TULIPBULB). I read it as “expert.” So I had TULIP___ in place, and I was thinking, “tulips pro?” Well, I’m sure there are such highly respected floral adepts in the Netherlands. I must remember to ask Horace and Frannie the next time I see them.

- Colum


  1. 19:29
    On the easy side, indeed! However, I, too, was impressed by the theme and especially by the "West Virginia" entry. I did enter tOOt at first at 114A Hit playfully on the nose, slangily, but as usual was saved by the cross DEBRIS, which led me to SPODE on the other side (an unfamiliar word to me). I'll have to add that to my VOCAB. SARAN wasn't what I was picturing, either, based off the clue, and we here at the YBH have stopped using such nonsense, so it's not really on my radar, but the crosses helped there, too. Nice that there are two beers in the SW: ASAHI and ARTOIS, with some HALFCOURT in the middle. I remember playing that in my youth, but SURELYNOT for around 35 years now.

  2. This took me just 12:20, which has got to be a personal best for a Sunday. And since I'm commenting after having completed "tomorrow's" puzzle, I can add that the gap is just over 4.5 minutes between a Sunday and a Monday puzzle. That's odd.

    As for tulip pros, I'm sure you're right, Colum. We'll have to try to get it through when we finally publish a puzzle. :)

    The anagrams are great in this one.