Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Wednesday, April 8, 2020, Sam Buchbinder


Hello everyone! Passover begins tonight, and we'll be having a Seder with just the nuclear family. Just a reminder that all plagues pass eventually, and we'll be getting back to some sort of normal before too long.

The theme today follows beautifully from yesterday's gutterball. I, along with most New Englanders, grew up with candlepin bowling, rather than ten-pin. You could put so much more force behind your throws with the smaller balls. It was rather a surprise to try out the bigger ones later on in life, but there is a kind of anticipatory glee watching the slower roll as it approaches the heavier pins. Many times, that glee turned to despair when I was bowling however.

Also, it hurts the thumb and the wrist.

In any case, we've seen many a bowling theme before. Today's was saved by the impressive BOWLINGALLEY right down the center of the grid, crossing all four theme answers, which are each fine answers in their own right.
OBERON and Puck
In other news, I was impressed by the chutzpah (it's Passover, folks!) in putting PULLAUEY in the puzzle. I am not at all convinced that "uey" or "uie" should even be allowed, but I can see how they can save a section for a constructor.

I would like to nod in favor, however, of the clue for SAC (43D: Kind of fly), rather than the less pleasant anatomical definition. Similarly for LUBES. Too soon?

I admit to staring at 9D: Eschewers of military service (AMISH) for a few hot seconds. I was convinced it had to end in -S, which didn't work with 20A: Blind followers (SHEEP). Those are two very nice irregular plural nouns to confound the puzzle-solver's pattern recognition cerebral software. Similarly, but not for long, 21D: Nook, e.g. (EREADER), due to the hidden capital.

No BOOBIRDS here. It's a solid puzzle.

- Colum


  1. 9:36
    Having bowled both, I believe the force is more for a ten pin ball since it's so much more massive than a candlepin ball. Even if one throws the ten pin ball only half as fast its mass more than makes up for the speed at which one can throw a candlepin, no? The lanes at which we bowl let us know the speed of our throws, and I usually range from 21-23 mph. I haven't bowled at the ten pin lanes there yet, but I suppose I could probably get around 10-12 mph on those. I suppose I could easily find out the various ball weights and have a more informed opinion on this. It will be nice to get back to our Friday bowling outings in the (hopefully) near future. Anyway, regarding the puzzle, I tried DRUMkit where DRUMPAD goes, which slowed me a bit, and having never heard the term BOOBIRDS, I needed a few crosses for that one. I agree with Colum on SAC. There was some discussion of this type of fly in a book I just read: "Bunts" by George Will (I'm around a quarter century behind in my reading). I wish we could get rid of STYE, but I suppose it's a useful letter combination. Not too many stinkers in here, although I never heard of this BIERCE person, though I think I've heard that definition of "alone." Time to GODARK.

  2. Ha, I had yhe opposite problem. I think of it as a "practice pad" and I think I also had the crosses for 'pad" early. I didn't get quite asfat as suspecting a rebus, but boy did it take a while to come up with DRUMPAD.