Saturday, April 11, 2020

Saturday, April 11, 2020, Erik Agard and Wyna Liu


Well, we've made it through another week of quarantine. Shout out to all the essential workers out there on the front lines. [Words of agreement: AMENTOTHAT, DARNTOOTIN].

A really tough Saturday today to wrap up the week, which is certainly to be expected from Mr. Agard and Ms. Liu. As an example of how challenging their cluing was, let's look at 10A: Pedal-operated instrument (HIHAT). I automatically put orgAn in, but took it out quickly. I thought about a harm and a loom, neither of which fit. So that one went empty for quite a while. I hardly gave a thought to the drumset's cymbals on a stand.

Here's another stumper: 10D: I, for one (HALOGEN). Very nice - the periodic table symbol for Iodine, which is the halogen class of elements. This was made more difficult, potentially, by 48D: I, for Plato (IOTA).

34D: Move like a bear (SELL) is sadly apt for our current times, referring to a Bear market rather than the animal. Note how that answer's first cross, STAGS, in fact does refer to animals rather than money (34A: A couple of bucks).
9D: Ribs course? (OSTEOLOGY) is a reach. Most of us would call a course on the human skeleton an anatomy class, or, as it was in my medical school, the Musculoskeletal theme. So while I didn't love that QMC, I did very much appreciate 55A: Tucked in at night? (ATEDINNER). That's the perfect form for a QMC, IMO: a clever reimagining of the words.

The best non-QMC came at 31D: Holder of miniature blocks (STREETMAP). I was thinking something along the lines of a Lego box, initially. Then when I had ___MAP in place, I thought of some sort of bitmap (where the miniature blocks would be pixels, but that's a real stretch). No, we should be thinking of city blocks, shrunk down to fit to scale on the map. Very nice.

So, another week gone, one where we've all been forced to take WHOLERESTs. All we can say to the virus is HAVEAHEART. Stay safe and healthy, folks.

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. 43:01 (FWOE)
    Well, not only did I more than double Colum's time, but I had an error at the cross of RIDIN/NET, where I'd tried a "g." It worked for the across, IMO, and I don't know of any Chamillionaire hits, so RIDIg seemed as plausible as RIDIN to me. Lots of tricky fill in here, including BAHT, SARAH (I'd not heard of Sally being an informal for that name; my grandmother went by Sally and her name was Salomea, which I assumed was normal), OMANI (I tried irANI before I got the BIOME cross) and ORGEAT, a syrup I've never heard of but evidently have had on many more than one occasion. Luckily, BRAD/PITT was a gimme and 27A could only be either ALOE or sloe. BADEGGS is excellent, as is INONEPIECE (25D Good way to get back from an ordeal). Great clue for MORATORIA, too (53A Freezes). Really top rate stuff in today's puzzle.