Sunday, March 8, 2020

Sunday, March 8, 2020, Laura Taylor Kinnel

"What's Shaking?"

Well, I'd like the answer to today's theme question to be 'the patriarchy,' but we know that isn't so. Howsoever that may be, we've enjoyed a great week of puzzles thanks to seven representatives of half of the world's population. Huzzah!

I'll get off the soap box now and pick up the shaker to address today's very brine theme. What is literally shaking in this puzzle are the letters in rebus squares that flip from [SALT] in the across answers to [NACL] in the down answers. For example, at 65A we have "Boardwalk buy" ([SALT]WATERTAFFY) while at 35D, we have "Shows how it's done" (PUTSO[NACL]INIC) with NACL where the answer crosses the SALT cube of 65A. The theme answers are nicely sprinkled all around the grid. As an added bonus, a good number of female figures SPICESUP the grid, to wit: Australia's national women's basketball team, the OPALS, Harper LEE, TARA Westover, MAE Jemison, EVAN Rachel Wood, EMILIA, LEILA, Shirley MACLAINE, and Joni ERNST(S). Sometimes, the preponderance of males in a grid strikes this solver as a little CLUE LESS.
Jeanne d'Arc à cheval. Miniature issue du manuscrit "Les vies des femmes célèbres" d'Antoine Dufour, 1504, Nantes, musée Dobrée.
I got stuck only briefly in the south west where I entered 'sum' for "Descartes's conclusion" (IAM). Amusingly, it was the only answer in that quadrant that I didn't think twice about. Does that mean I ISNT?

Clues I thought had a little extra flavor include:
"Sounds 'everywhere,' in a children's song" (BAABAA)
"Jam producer" (TRAFFIC)
"Big feller?" (AXE)
"Nursery rhyme couple (SPRATS)
"Memorized" (PAT)
"Lightly roast" (TEASE)
"Agent of change" (DYE)


In sum, a very enjoyable Sunday solve. Happy International Women's Day everyone.



  1. An excellent puzzle and an excellent week of fun solves. My hat's off to the smarter gender.

  2. 28:19
    I suppose that I could have entered [SALT] in each rebus square, but I didn't even consider it. I dropped in [NACL] and just read it as "salt" as necessary and was rewarded with the Happy Pencil, as desired. I wonder if Sanderson Eggo would have done the same. I enjoyed DRIVEUPAWALL (although I usually have heard that with a "the" in there) and seeing the full AMESIOWA, but PADTHAI and a TAXCREDIT are always welcome. Really nicely-done and enjoyable Sunday.