Saturday, February 8, 2020

Saturday, February 8, 2020, Hemant Mehta


And so another week of blogging comes to an end. It's been a good one, finished off with this meaty (or not, if you take a BOCABURGER) grid. It's much easier to get at a tough themeless when the 15-letter answer is one you can drop right in. In this case, 35A: Musical alter ego of Donald Glover (CHILDISHGAMBINO) was a gimme for this solver. That is to say, because Hope was right there, and she reminded me of the correct answer. A real gimme.

Even so, once that grid-spanner is in place, the SE corner filled right in. 34D: They get big bucks from big Bucks (NBAAGENTS) is a cute clue, and MOODS for "Climates" is not what I was expecting.

I next worked my way up from the SW corner, where BBOY and YEAH got things rolling. I don't personally take a BLUEMOON. I like my beers darker and maltier. I liked the pair of 42A: One way to take stock? (LASSO) and 42D: Pet peeve? (LEASH).

Now with ____TONGUE in place, I was able to STRIKESOUT northwardly. I've never heard of HOTDESKING, but the crosses made it reasonably clear. The pair of STEEDS and MOUNT made another nice crossing in the NW. I think SOG is an odd answer, and would prefer not to have it in my grid, but these are the little compromises we have to make.

SACRILEGE and OBSCENELY make another unusual pairing, IMHO.

Overall, it's a well made but not super impressive puzzle today. I liked Thursday and Friday better, but one of the three puzzles in the Turn must be the least good, I suppose.

Tomorrow, Horace takes over. Have a lovely time puzzling for the next two weeks!

- Colum

P.S. Today's puzzle is a debut for Mr. Mehta, so congratulations!


  1. 20:11
    A tough one for me, who had never heard of CHILDISHGAMBINO. I am officially out of the loop.

    I did know IMHO and NOOB, but it took me a long time to figure out the clever CUTS (Problems with pay or paper), MOUNT (Knight's need), and STEEDS (Rides into battle). A tiny bit of duplication with STRIKESOUT and WEIRDEDOUT, but I like both, so it's not OBSCENELY DEPLORABLE or anything.

  2. 27:10
    I'd heard of CHILDISHGAMBINO, and once a few of the letters dropped in with crosses, I entered it. I could not, however, pick him out of a lineup. Funny that TOSS/SALAD are up there in the north, in order, one over the other. I don't know about 25A Grease (OILUP); oil isn't grease. I'd drink a BLUEMOON if someone gave one to me, but I wouldn't purchase one. I love a KNEEBOARDS and do, indeed, take a BOCABURGER.