Monday, May 4, 2020

Monday, May 4, 2020, Emily Carroll


An excellent start to the week today with a clever and amusing puzzle by Emily Carroll. The sounds of chicks, turkeys, ducks, and geese at the start of each theme answer are explained by the central grid-spanner USEFOWLLANGUAGE. Hah! Very nice.


In the premiere Down slots we have the warmly old-SCHOOL sounding CELLOPHANE, and ICESKATERS, which, until yesterday, would have still seemed appropriate in New England, where we just had one of the coldest Aprils in decades! Yesterday got into the seventies, however, and this morning it's already sixty-something, so maybe we really are coming out of it now.

One thing we're still not out of, however, is this whole pandemic thing. Anybody else get a little pang from the clue "Not do takeout at a restaurant" (EATIN)? Yeah... I'll be happy to do that again someday....

ITSOK, though, because we have lots of TOP fill to distract us. Some that I enjoyed were QUASH (Suppress), CONK (Bop on the head), ARGYLE (Popular pattern for socks and sweaters), LANCE (Knight stick?) (Funny how it's right on top of EPEES), TWIRLS (Spins, as a baton), JESTS (Kids around), and CAPERS (Pickled green garnishes). Mmmmm.... CAPERS....

It certainly wasn't INERT, as some early-week puzzles tend to be. And now my hopes are high for an excellent week! I hope you're all still happy and healthy, and still enjoying our daily ritual. Thanks for reading.

- Horace


  1. I guess it counts as a pang, but my reaction was more of a wry "well that clue is going to look dated at a time when only some people remember a time when there was this thing called a 'restaurant' where you could eat your food AT the business."

    I was also quite struck by JESTS crossing JAPE where I tried to put in joke(s) for not one but both of them, before noticing it didn't work with the crosses and changed it.

  2. 3:33
    A very nice puzzle, as expected from Ms. Carroll. I agree with Mr. Kingdon about EATIN, and also about JESTS and JAPE. I tried Joke(S) in both, and almost left the O in 1D by mistake. I love the clue for 11D: Film about food? (CELLOPHANE). It would have been better as a non-QMC, but perhaps not on a Monday.

  3. 5:09
    We don't take a CELLOPHANE around here, but I was able to fill it in off of just a couple of crosses. Amusing theme for sure, and yes, it will be nice to EATIN again, hopefully soon-ish, when it's safe for everyone, of course. NAKED has a funny clue; we don't get many streakers nowadays for some reason.