Saturday, May 2, 2020

Saturday, May 2, 2020, Paolo Pasco


I woke up early today to get to the grocery store before most people. It paid off in that the store was empty and I was able to find a few things before they disappeared. Still no flour though. It seems other households are finding the same simple creature comforts necessary that we do. Yesterday, Cece made pumpkin spice chocolate chip muffins. Delicioso!

The other nice thing about getting up early was seeing Mr. Paolo Pasco's name on today's puzzle. What a great grid shape! It's a big S, with the north and south sections boasting a stack of a 12-, a 13- and a 14-letter answer.

Although I broke a TAD in the NW corner with the gimmes PEET and GRETA, I really found my stride in the middle of the puzzle, working off of HUR. I would argue that Mary Poppins would claim she never TRILLS. In the original movie, she sings with a bird. Maybe that's what they're thinking of. I didn't know ROSA or LEONORA, but was able to infer them from the context.
This opened up the top section: it's a great stack of long answers. I love SAIDNOONEEVER, while LANDSAKESALIVE and FREETHINKING are strong entries. 9D: Part of a forest that can grow as fast as two feet a day (KELP) had me in the wrong biome entirely until I had three of the four letters filled in.

The bottom section moved pretty quickly for me. The lower stack is not as good as the upper one. But 56A: "Don't admit to anything!" (DENYDENYDENY) might be my candidate for my favorite answer of the year so far.

In any case, it's a VIVID puzzle with a lot of great entries, and I enjoyed solving it immensely. Very satisfying turn this week.

- Colum


  1. 11:32
    I really blasted through this for what could be my fastest Saturday time ever, and with no errors! Although I guess the no errors thing isn't too surprising because errors are arguably more likely when the puzzle is a struggle. That said, it was a really smooth feel, with great entries such as WONT, ATOMIC, VIVID and the much-used-around-here VEGETABLESTOCK, which I wrote in off of the clue. ONSETS was nicely clued and the stacks, as Colum mentions, are quite nice. I don't know this STACY person, never heard the term STAN and needed a few crosses for LEONORA, but everything else was pretty easy for me. However, I, too, was in the wrong forest at first regarding KELP.

  2. 12:41
    This sure is a weird looking grid! And I didn't like TRILLS for Mary Poppins either. Unless there's some third or fourth definition entry for that word, it really doesn't work for her.

    Briefly considered "vine" for the fast-growing part of a forest... it could have worked for a rain forest, right? And it's far too soon for GETSFAT, because that's all I've been doing for the past seven weeks, what with all that extra flour use...