Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Wednesday, February 5, 2020, Ross Trudeau


Hidden words are always fun, in my opinion. I'm not a big fan of having circles in the answers, because it makes the game too obvious up front. Once I filled in 19A: Brief hookup (ONENIGHTSTAND), the theme became completely apparent, and the only question was what the revealer would be. Still, the other pieces of USEDFURNITURE are well disguised. I particularly liked the seat for the feline (CATCHAIR).

With six theme answers and 62 squares devoted to theme, you can well imagine that some compromises needed to be made in the fill. But I found myself more amused by most of the potential nits rather than annoyed. Witness 9D: Daily run, for short (MTWTF). Some of you might in fact be asking WTF about this set of letters, but they're short for Monday through Friday. Add to that the very amusing 7A: Where you might go through withdrawal? (ATM), and the section is definitely improved. There have been a lot of excellent humorous clues for ATM recently.

45D: Blind followers (SHEEP) is excellent. I also loved 48A: What an ID may substitute for? (IDAHO). That made up for ENEWS and the odd PWAVE. I should know IOLANI Palace better, and the L was the last letter I entered, mostly because I looked at 37A: American ____ (another name for the century plant) (ALOE) and thought they meant a factory rather than a piece of vegetation. Just so we're all clear, "steel" didn't fit, so I moved on...

The folks round here do love a PROCEDURAL. May I highly recommend "Unforgotten," a British detective series surrounding a unit that investigates cold cases? Three seasons, all excellent.

And with that, he EXITED, pursued by a bear.

- Colum


  1. Even though I got hung up in the lower left quadrant (Quadrant III, mathematically), I found this crossword entertaining. I was stumped by ENEWS, IDAHO, SLAMPOET, and SHEEP. I should have known IDAHO since I am a letter writer and postal enthusiast. I am not familiar with ENEWS nor SLAMPOET. The theme was good, especially "twin beds" (BEDoBED). PROCEDURAL reminded me of Dragnet and Adam-12.


  2. 12:28
    Wow, Dragnet and Adam-12: that's kicking it old school, although I remember watching the latter and having it feel fresh, or at least recent since it was already in reruns. Get Smart had the same feel to me, but now seems a little dated. I enjoyed the theme all right, but like Colum, once ONENIGHTSTAND was filled in (with the circles), the other theme fill was obvious. Sue and I didn't visit the IOLANI Palace while in HI, but maybe we will next time. I agree with Colum on ATM; really excellent cluing as of late. And as an AVID math fan, I like and support Ian's use of quadrants to describe the grid, although I'm inclined to stick with the majority on this blog and continue to use compass points to describe where my problems occur (none on this grid).

  3. 9:31
    I spent a very long time looking at a blank space in the CO_LINGS/MT_TF cross, and even though I think I was watching some of that stupid Ford Bronco coverage, I did not remember Al's last name. But somehow I reasoned that W might be right, and it was only after I got the congratulations screen that I finally figured out the days of the week. Sheesh!

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