Saturday, March 21, 2020

Saturday, March 21, 2020, Damon Gulczynski


I disinfected my house this morning, with diluted bleach. That's what it's come down to, folks. Do you know how many knobs there are in my kitchen? I think 49.

I also read in the New Yorker that as restrictions on movement in Shanxii province were released this past week, the divorce rate jumped way up.

So, if those are not some good reasons to escape into a crossword puzzle, I don't know what would be. And what a fine example we have today. Mr. Gulczinski hit on each and every one of his long answers, YESINDEED he did.

Let's start in the SE corner, where 60A: Race car, e.g. (PALINDROME) is a piece of beauty. I had incorrectly entered AmIr at 53D: Arabic leader (ALIF, the letter), which made things a little difficult to see. But you also have the lovely SWITCHEROO and 65A: Ones trying to cover all the bases (INFIELDERS). Ah, baseball. We might get some before the summer is over.

The NW corner was more challenging for me. I had OAHU and ESSAY as things I was sure about, but I made life harder for myself by dropping in "ona" for ACL. Finally I got WARTHOG and figured out LUTE, and then things made more sense. 17A: Fakes (CHARLATANS) is great, 15A: They come with strings attached (PARACHUTES) is also good (I really wanted something like "marionettes" but it just didn't fit), but the perfect start to the puzzle is at 1A: Slangy part of a conversation recap (SOIWASLIKE).

With MEDGAREVARS and DELTABURKE as well as everybody's favorite satay dip, PEANUTSAUCE, this is a winning grid all around.

- Colum

P.S. Don't forget the virtual crossword puzzle tournament today at 1 PM!


  1. 12:35
    Totally agree about this puzzle. Super-nice, and that PALINDROME clue is going to get me to update the "Favorite clues" page, which I haven't touched in quite some time.

    Looking forward to the tournament today! :)

  2. 25:49
    Excellent puzzle, indeed. I did, in fact, try mARioneTtS, even though I knew very well that it had an "e" on the end, and that caused that whole corner to be the last to fall. On my first pass, until I hit the middle somewhere, I wasn't getting much of a hold at all, but then things started to fall into place. PUPLEHAZE and its cross MOPTOP were gimmes, and since that was so, ALIF came quickly, too (otherwise I'd have tried emIr), leading to the general solving of the south with PALINDROME being the biggest pleasant surprise. Nice USPS/DHL pairing. UNIT was nicely clued, although a "Doctor Who" clue for that some day would be equally nice but maybe not quite as tricky. ZITI is something we don't have often enough here at the YBH, but I do often see a LEMMA. Did anyone else try cara where AMOR goes?

  3. Very nice puzzle! I loved 1 Across, although I kept trying to fit "GOES" or WENT into the phrase, as in "SO THEN I WENT" -- this is because of the pre-pandemic conversations I often heard among the teens at Dudley Station. Ditto me, Huygens, on CARA. Great fun!