Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wednesday, February 26, 2020, Francis Heaney


Today's theme is an example of how I know I would never make it as a crossword puzzle constructor. I did not see this coming at all, as I worked my way through the puzzle, and only after finishing and carefully reading the clue at 67A did I get what was going on.

BIL/LIE/EIL/ISH, winner of four GRAMMYs this year, one of which was Best Record of the Year for BADGUY. We're all huge fans in the Amory-Perlman household, and have been for a while. How brilliant is it to recognize that her name could be broken down into four 3-letter strings, each of which could make up the ending of a longer answer?

My favorite is hiding in TROMPELOEIL, an example of which we saw at The Getty Museum in Los Angeles this past weekend, but the other three are all strong, especially HIPSDONTLIE. Shakira really proved that at the Super Bowl earlier this month.
Proof that the Manx cat has, in fact, NOTAIL

The puzzle as a whole has me AGOG. So much that is good, and very little that I MOANED about while solving. I can point to TWOPM, a random time answer, and that's about it.

Meanwhile, I can certainly ATTESTTO the fact that Ms. Eilish's music is neither ATONAL nor AUTOTUNED.

I love HOTFUDGE, and KATYDID is an excellent answer. Overall a brilliant piece of work by Mr. Heaney.

- Colum


  1. 6:01
    Wow, Billie Eilish is huge right now. Seems kind of quick for her to have made it into the NYTX already as a theme, and not just an answer. When we were in Utrecht last year (or was it the year before?) there were hundreds of kids lined up to see her at some venue downtown, and more recently, we saw a group of Berklee students do a bluegrass-y cover of one of her songs at a local venue. So I guess what I'm saying is, she's really huge right now. ... But you already knew that. And so did Mr. Heaney.

  2. What a waste of time! I quit after about a quarter hour. #1 "hit" from 2006 by who knows?!. Someone from morning TV!? "Awards"?!? This crossword was an overdose of so-called "popular" culture. I can do without it. There were some bright spots: TROMPELOEIL (from college art class), SULU, and GINA. Still, one of the worst crossword puzzles in a long time.


  3. 8:28
    Wow, Ian not holding back! I don't know the Shakira hit, either, being more familiar with her Spanish language output, but I've heard the title. That said, IDID need a few crosses for it. Sadly, I know not of PERNOD, but ASYOUWISH brings happily to mind "The Princess Bride." I'm not necessarily ANTI on the puzzle, but being not too familiar with Ms. Eilish or her music, I'm not way up on it, either. I guess the inclusion of BENHUR, the MINUSSIGN and Ms. LEIGH ORIENT me to the OK side.

    1. I believe it was the old Pernod factory that was re-opened to make the absinthes we tried. ... but Pernod is still a company on its own, too - I had some a couple weeks ago when I was in Paris! - so I'll have to confirm that first sentence.

    2. (and here, "factory" should be read as "distillery")

    3. Well, that knowledge makes me less sad. I don't mind that I've forgotten where the absinthes were made since I'm older now.