Friday, February 7, 2020

Friday, February 7, 2020, Mary Lou Guizzo and Erik Agard

9:18 (FWOE)

When it comes to making errors in solving a puzzle, IBLAMEMYSELF. Not many other people I can blame, I guess, when it comes down to it. Today's mistake was definitely avoidable. I had put EQUAlLY in at 24D: In an even manner (EQUABLY), which is certainly a reasonable guess. But the last word I had to fill in was 40A: Sty occupants (SLOBS). That's a fine clue, by the way. So I was looking at possibly having "SLOlS" in that place, and I hesitated not once but twice before putting the last letter in.

So, a good rule of thumb should be that when you see something that just can not be correct in any way, shape, or form, don't put that last letter in. And I really questioned every crossing letter of that answer but the mistake. So another good rule of thumb is don't fall in love with your own assumptions.

But enough self-flagellation. Let's focus on all the great stuff, shall we?

So many great long answers today. I'm fond of a good colloquial phrase, like WEREALLSET. Also, PADMALAKSHMI is an outstanding answer, a full name, and a celebrity minority woman, so many nice things there.

9D: Case opener (EXHIBITA) is a great example of a tough clue, and a really difficult answer to figure out. I had E_H_BITA and was certain I'd done something wrong. TREX was a tough get as well, but such a great aha moment in a puzzle full of AHAS!

Speaking of which, how about 1D: Tanning agent (SUN)? Oh, that's brilliant. And a non-QMC to boot! What a way to elevate a simple answer. For an excellent example of a QMC, see 63A: Defaults? (EDITS). So good.

We just finished watching a movie featuring a STUNT double, namely "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood." It was... good? I think? We loved everything up until the last half hour, which I will not spoil. We also saw Ford v. Ferrari, which was a lot of fun. My pick for best picture? Little Women, which will not win.

Great first two parts of the turn this week. Here's looking forward to tomorrow's!

- Colum


  1. 21:07 (FWTE)
    Well, at least Colum had only one error; I had two. I don't know this PADMALAKSHMI, and I, too, fell in complete love with EQUAlLY and didn't even consider - not once - changing it to the much nicer EQUABLY, so I tried the letter "a" in the first square of 40A, convincing myself that aLOlS were things that could be in a sty. I didn't have any trouble at all with the remainder of the puzzle, which I finished quickly in around fifteen minutes. Even KATANAS, QUIERO and the SANDP (where I wanted some variant of "Indy" at first) didn't cause me any major problems. I dropped TREX right in since I have two t-shirts featuring the dinosaur in question. RASHER, EFFACED, APPALACHIA (excellent) and PRUNE took a few crosses each, and I tried Sailor at first where SEAMAN goes, but on balance it is a smooth and enjoyable Friday offering, but not too EASY. Go PATS!

  2. I did not finish this crossword. My start was great; it had me thinking that I might finish a Friday crossword. Alas, "Top Chef" (never heard of it) proved to be a stumbling block. It lead to _ATANAS, AVED_, and _LOLS. The second L was actually a B. Double whammy. I wrote in EQUALLY in place of EQUABLY. According to my American Heritage College Dictionary 4th Edition, it is a real word. NAKED LUNCH was interesting; my favorite band, Steely Dan, got its name from that book. Yes, I know what the term means. High points: CALVIN and two-thirds of my favorite beers triad, Coors and Pabst (Blue Ribbon). Only Miller (High Life) was missing. Nowadays, my beer consumption has dropped to almost nothing.


  3. DNF
    I finished everything but the middle in about ten minutes, but fell EQUAlLY for the 24D alternative, and with that in place, and me not knowing PADMALAKSHMI, I could not see SLOBS. I was also not 100% sure of KATANAS... ah well. I had lots going on in my non-puzzle life today, too. Sometimes it's like that.