Saturday, March 7, 2020

Saturday, March 7, 2020, Robyn Weintraub


Called it! And I'm delighted about it. There are so many great things about this that I don't know where to start!

I choose to begin with the side-by-side entries WHEREWEREWE (Query following an interruption) and SESAMESEED (Bit on a bun). The clues fine - what I like is that both contain a tripled letter and so many Es! I don't know... I just love the look of them.
For more traditional puzzle praise, your author now SPOTLIGHTS his favorite misdirections:

14A: Fit for a sweater (AGUE). I first thought "is this just going to be AGed? Do you need to be old to wear a sweater these days?" ... but no. It's a fit of AGUE that makes you sweat.

27A: Small cardinal (TWO). First I went to birds, then to religion, and then only when pretty much forced to (as usual for me) to math.

33A: It might go over some students' heads (PAPERAIRPLANE). Hah! Lovely.

46A: Seafood in shells (FISHTACOS). Not oysters. Not clams. Shells of corn, not chitin.

48A: End notes (CODA). I dropped in "obit" thinking I was all that and a bag of chips.

8D: Brown alternative (PENN). Not color, college.

26D: One of seven in 14th-century Avignon (POPE). Now this probably didn't fool many people like it did me, but I immediately though of the song "Sur le pont d'Avignon," and I assumed that maybe there were more than just one pont, so I put that in. Nope.

That's probably enough listing of things.

The stepped triple-stack in the middle is solid, the long Downs are solid, we've got fun words like MAGMA and MINX, and overall, this is a lovely Saturday puzzle. Great way to start the day and finish the regular-sized puzzle week.

- Horace


  1. 4:58
    Well, that's just ridiculous. I was simply right on Ms. Weintraub's wavelength. All of those misdirections you mentioned made immediate sense to me. The only one I missed was 27A: Small cardinal (TWO). I put in Tit first, thinking of the bird. Although it's definitely an incorrect answer on the face of it. I literally worked through this like a Monday puzzle. What the hell. Great puzzle, but I'm going to say it's too easy??

  2. 21:12
    Being somewhat of a math-lover, I like my time, being both a palindrome and having two entries that three divides and the "cardinal" entry, where I first tried one, not being fooled for a second that it was the number variety of cardinal that was being referenced. Being an astronomy lover, I also enjoyed APOGEE. Being a music lover, I liked CODA (which went right in), but not so much DISCO (which also went right in). Being a science lover, I enjoyed MAGMA, which I entered upon reading the clue. And being an adult beverage lover, I quite enjoyed JELLOSHOTS, even though in reality I tend to go for a much less sugary offering, such as a neat two fingers of rye, for example. However, I thought that PAPERAIRPLANE would reference, instead, the mathematical planes, so I wrote in the ___PLANE portion and had to wait quite a while for the remainder. All-in-all, a pretty fast Saturday, but I wasn't quite on the "Colum" wavelength, so I thought it a fine toughness level. ASKANYONE, SWEPTASHORE and FAIRGAME are great, and rarely seen. The April "Astronomy" magazine seems to be dedicated to one of my heroes, Carl Sagan, so I recently re-watched the excellent "Contact" that has Jodie Foster saying "I had no idea...," so HASNOIDEA brought that scene happily to mind.

  3. This was a delightful way to spend...uh...let's just say more than FIVE MINUTES, sheesh! :-) I really like Robyn's grid today and enjoyed all the misdirects. Although I must say -- and I call myself a New Englander, shame on me! -- that FISH TACOS are a dish I've never heard of, let alone tasted. But I do believe they exist...I mean, everybody says so.

  4. This was a delightful puzzle, but way too easy and way too filled with idioms and cute phrases for a Saturday. WHEREWEWERE, ASKANYONE, HASNOIDEA, AGOOD, HOMESWEETHOME, and GOTASECOND all in the same Saturday?? This should have been a Wednesday! But, really, other than that it was indeed delightful. Three of my favorites have already been SPOTLIGHT[ed]: TWO, JELLOSHOTS, and AGUE. Also loved "Individual, for one: Abbr." -- I don't always pick up on those immediately, but I guess I should-- and "Typical stocking stuffers." Got a kick out of NOTIN for "Passe, say."