Thursday, February 20, 2020

Thursday, February 20, 2020, Joe Deeney


What did I think of today's puzzle theme? I 8 it up! The clever two-way rebus tucked PIECESOFEIGHT into 8 places around the grid. The eights were represented by the letters [ATE] in the Across answers, and took the form of two O's (picture them stacked one on top of the other) to represent the number 8 in the Down answers. I first realized we were in a rebus situation when I got to "'We can't joke about that yet?'" at 28D. The answer had to be T[OO]S[OO]N (or (T[8]S[8]N)), but obviously, it didn't fit when spelled out. It wasn't until I wanted THEFOURTHEST[ATE] (or THEFOURTHEST[8]) at 20A that I got the ATE option. I ended up using the two O approach in my rebus squares all across the grid instead of the actual number 8, which I kinda regret, but which made some of the theme answers look pretty funny in the completed grid. My favorite was H[OO]RSGONNAH[OO]. Unintended (?) hilarity.

There were a few clues that were real treasures including "Pockets of the Middle East?" (PITAS), "Nation's borders?" (ENS), "Support for a religious group?" (PEW), "Oscar-nominated actor with nearly synonymous first and last names" (RIPTORN) - Ha!

I was confounded for a time at the cross between 67A: "Chicago's ____ Expressway" and 55D: "Blyton who wrote 'The Enchanted Wood.'" I didn't know either one. But since I had ENI_ for Blyton, I thought ENID was a pretty good HUNCH.


I enjoyed the trio of PARDON, SALUT, and KEPI as reminders of our recent visit to Paris. Also quite nice was Horace's (original version - although I'm pretty sure our esteemed co-blogger Horace would concur) description of MUSIC as "Sweet and healing medicine of troubles." And now I know that ASADA means grilled. WH[OO]PI! This puzzle solving hobby is really paying off.



  1. Today being a Thursday, I was on the lookout for a rebus, or something of that nature. Generally, rebuses are not my cup of tea, but I caught on to this one quite early at 17A UPLATE and 14D GOOFUP. I would write the ATE in the lower half of the square and the OO in the upper half. I was able to complete this crossword, unlike Wednesday's. It took me just over a half an hour to complete it. With the help of my favorite President OBAMA, I was able to quickly fill in OAHU, BLUR, AINT, MACH, and ASHE. I was delayed by POLLS (I wrote in MALLS), YIPE (I wrote in YIKE), and GAME (I wrote in SUIT). Once I edited my incorrect answers, I steadily worked my way to the completion. Of course, the revealer reminded me of the album by Styx. Favorites: CANTINA (self-explanatory), ZAP (reminded me of Mr. Rowsdower), PITAS (reminded me of gyros), and RIPTORN (reminded me of an episode of Columbo). I believe that this crossword was the first one involving a rebus that I actually enjoyed! (I guess that is because I was able to finish it.)


  2. 21:34
    I'm a fan of the Thursday rebus puzzles, as regular readers of this blog probably know, and I'm happy that Ian has enjoyed one now. Maybe there will be others in his future. Once I figured out the trick, which didn't take too long, this puzzle went along at a reasonable Thursday pace. I love the succinctness of the clue for XR8D (59A Adult), but the best has to be H8RSGONNAH8. For non-theme, I'd probably choose the Horace quote as my favorite entry (MUSIC).