Monday, February 24, 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020, Jacob Stulberg


Well, I’m back in upstate New York, AWASH in colder air than what I’ve been used to in Southern California. It’s a tough transition, but all vacations must come to an end at some point, and it’s the return that helps us remember how special our time away was. Still, going in to work tomorrow will not SUET me at all.

Today’s puzzle was fun. I always enjoy when the theme answers are in the downs instead of the acrosses. The revealer comes at 15D: Activity depicted in a famous 2/23/1945 photograph ... and in three of this puzzle’s answers (RAISINGTHEFLAG). The photograph in question is from Iwo Jima, and yesterday was its 75th anniversary. We’re one day off, but it probably would have been harder to do this theme on a Sunday, requiring six or seven theme answers.

This grid requires only three answers where the word “flag” is hidden backwards (or upwards, to be precise). DININGALFRESCO is the best of the three, with KINGALFRED next and LEGALFORCE last, because it doesn’t feel as organic as the other two. Or perhaps only the first is organic? Especially if you buy free range, antibiotic and hormone free.

Huh. That was a bit forced. Apologies.

The fill felt a tad violent today, what with POLICEDOGS doing FACEOFFS while one cop OPENSFIRE and another several DOSHOTS. Around this time, I suspect, you’re all wishing Horace or Frannie were doing the reviews this week.

To which I say, APSES makes the heart grow fonder.

[Mic drop]

- Colum


  1. I finished this crossword in less than 30 minutes. It was an OK puzzle. The theme revealer was easy, but I did not make the connection to the theme answers when I was done. It was not until I read Colum's post that it became clear. (I tip my hat to you in gratitude, Colum.) I like POLICEDOG and MONGREL. I like dogs. LOCI was a good mathematics reference.


  2. 4:59
    I'm with Ian; a mathematics reference is always welcome. I'm not, however, much on dogs, but I do, on occasion, DOSHOTS (HIC). Although, I suppose, the way I take my whiskey is more sipping of fingers, not really doing shots, but that's picking nits. I don't take a SUET or a FANTA or anything GAMY, nor do I enjoy DININGALFRESCO (I don't like dealing with insects). I was happy when I got the smiling pencil just under five.

  3. 5:14

    Hah! Nice review. I hear you about the rough transition when vacations end... our European one ended a while ago now, but then we went right into another one with a long weekend up at Kipling's place, which is where I completed this one. I opened the iPad, finished it, then went back to drinking coffee and socializing, and, like Ian, I never even noticed the raised flags. Pretty nice trick, I think.