Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tuesday, February 18, 2020, John Guzzetta


I think we all Congaree that today's theme is pretty neat. The circled letters in the parallel diagonals are names of national parks: REDWOOD, ARCHES, GLACIER, ACADIA, and DENALI. The revealer, "Does a driving test task - or an apt description of the five circled diagonals in this puzzle" (PARALLELPARKS) is apt indeed. Apt! While it often happens that I don't pay attention to themes until after I've finished the puzzle, this time the theme saved my bacon. I was dragging for a while in the Badlands where there were three clues that stumped this solver all bunched together. I had B_I_N for "Guitarist May of Queen," but my head was a real Wind Cave when it came to the downs "Father of Rachel and Leah in Genesis" and "Needlefish." I was Petrified of getting another FWOE! Luckily, one of the letters I was missing was part of the theme (GLACIER). That gave me the A of LABAN, which made BRIAN pretty obvious. It was a Mammoth effort that paid off.

In the rest of the grid, there was a veritable Hot Springs of good fill including HIE, DOTARD, CERBERUS, SENSEI, ACRID, and KEISTERS. I also want to mention a couple of clues Yosemite like such as "Mandates" (DICTA) and "Plying the waves" (ASEA). But, the Pinnacles for me were Made the bed? (GARDENED) and "Shadows that have grown long?" (BEARDS). Ha! Real Bryce.


There was a regular Mesa Verde of Dry Tortugas like AIG, RDA, YTD, TCU, and SSA, but as they were employed in the service of this park-friendly puzzle, I'm not inclined to fuss. Mr. Guzzetta seems to be able to keep his Zion the prize.



  1. I liked the diagonal parks theme. The revealer felt lukewarm at best for me. Favorites: CERBERUS and BEARD (images of ZZ Top). The big "Huh?!?" was BCE. Dates in times before the Christ are followed by "BC"; dates afterward are preceded by "AD".


  2. 5:00
    Capitol Reefiew, Frannie. I thought you were Joshua'n with some of those park names. I Denali know there were so many, but it was impressive that you were able to Wrangell-St. Elias so many of them in!

  3. 8:40
    Yes, very impressive review. Dr. BRIAN May is well-known to me. I've purchased a couple of his books since he recently earned his doctorate in astrophysics following a little hiatus while being a part of some band for the last few decades. He's active in "Astronomy" magazine, the Starmus Festival and the Planetary Society. I've been a subscriber of the magazine for the majority of my life and a member of the Planetary Society for just as long. I've considered going to the Starmus festival, but haven't yet made one (I think there have been three or four so far). I didn't love REWED since it's usually referred to as a renewal of vows, but really there isn't a whole bunch of junk in the grid today. CERBERUS is nice to see, although I hope to never see him in reality, KEISTERS is excellent, and I was able to write in BAER off of the clue.