Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Ross Trudeau


Do you want to know what I have MIXEDFEELINGS about right now? No, never mind, that doesn't even work. My vibes are hardly ambivalent. They're just all negative regarding said situation in the world right now. Fortunately, we have a crossword to keep us on a more even KEEL.

The grid today is a rare 15 x 16 mirror symmetry exemplar, which allows Mr. Trudeau to include three long answers in the form "blankANDblank" where the two blanks are different feelings, thus the revealer. I will give you PRIDEANDJOY and SHOCKANDAWE, but it's a little odd to have FEARANDLOATHING without "in Las Vegas." Still it's a fun theme, and the odd grid allows for some really fun long answers.

First off, INTERREGNUM. That's got to be a first in NYT xword history. Hang on...

[Goes to xwordinfo.com]

Turns out it was used in the pre-Shortz era (read: Maleska ... boy, those days were rough). I also liked JUDOTHROWS and YOURERIGHT. AHISTORICAL was what I just wasn't.
My personal favorite RYE
ECIG is rough: both the abbreviation and the E- prefix. Other less than ideal entries include ITSA partial, and that's about it. I definitely liked the two bottom corners for the stacks of three 7-letter words. And anyone who knows me will know that my favorite entry in the entire puzzle came at 64A.

Overall, a fun experiment, fitting for a Tuesday.

- Colum


  1. 7:13
    That sure is a nice RYE. I'd put it right up there near the top, too, but I have many, many more to try before making a determination. Hunter wrote at least one other FEARANDLOATHING than the one Colum mentions: "...On the Campaign Trail" when he follows Nixon around during the '72 presidential campaign. I'm pretty sure I've read all of Hunter's books, and was saddened by his demise. Nicely-done Tuesday, clocking in a wee bit faster for me than yesterday's.

  2. As for the world, in addition to all the good journalism, virology, etc out there I can recommend https://www.theallusionist.org/allusionist/tranquillusionist , in which Helen Zaltzman reads 343 soothing words, and http://www.crosswordtournamentfromyourcouch.org/ which is this Saturday.

    But on to this puzzle. I liked it but thing I most want to comment on was the clue "kind of daisy". I confidently filled in Oopsy and was rather disappointed when the crosses showed that old crossword chestnut OXEYE.

    1. Thanks for that crossword tournament link! I'm very happy to learn of it.

      See you there!

  3. 4:27
    Not a big fan of the Pig, but I am a big fan of CECELIA. :)