Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Tracy Gray


OOH! A Wednesday puzzle with a trick! I'd say this bodes very well for the rest of the week, as the constructors try to ONEUP each other by bringing their AGAME. :)


I finished this puzzle without really understanding what was going on, but I knew the Downs were correct, and the "odd space" was consistently an O. What I didn't notice until after the fact was that each odd O was the bottom of an upside-down "one," and those letters are used to complete the Across answer. It's obvious if you read the revealer, or are more observant than I am while solving, but I think that SE corner was completed using Downs only, so I never even saw it. Sometimes it goes that way.

So anyway, I really enjoyed this one. First of all, I love a trick puzzle, and I love it especially when it comes as a surprise on a day other than Thursday. And ADDEND to that, the grid is AGLOW with HOT answers like SWOLE (Extremely muscular, in slang) (gross), CARESS, GAZEINTO (Stare at, as another's eyes), ANIMAL, and AROMAS (Memory triggers, for many). Speaking of that, I read yesterday that AROMAS are now being used to "brand" hotels and stores. Companies are pumping scent into lobbies, rooms, and retail spaces. I find this trend horrifying. When smells are impossible to get away from, they can be very disturbing. If there are any heads of industry reading, please know that not all of your customers want to be subjected to signature scents!

OK, rant over.

I love how CLAUDEMOT looks in the grid. It would be a good pen name for a French author. Hah!

- Horace


  1. Very cool puzzle! Yay me for getting the gimmick at the reveal...and for resisting the urge to try to squeeze the "appropriate" letters into the the TATUM O'NEAL first indication that something was going on.

    Nice picture of ONE of my favorite ladies -- Gloria SWANSON -- Horace. And count me in with you over the lousy idea of "signature scents."

  2. 18:28 (FWTE)
    Unlike Ms. Clark, I tried to fit [ONE] into the "appropriate" squares (without looking up from the "O," obvie), then I tried just putting the letter "O" in, but neither activity got me the happy pencil. I tried REAl and ADDaND where the cross MIELE (never heard of it) goes, so there you go. I knew something was going on with ZODEFENSE, with which I am familiar, TATUMOAL and CLAUDEMOT. I had to think a bit more with HOWOARTH. I also agree with the signature scent nonsense; that sort of thing should be more organic, say that a certain hotel always offers freshly-baked cookies at check-in. Artificial AROMAS are never welcome. Despite my troubles, I thought this was a very well-done and enjoyable puzzle.

  3. Someone misplaced all the "NE"