Saturday, May 30, 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020, Brian Thomas


Well, Dear Reader, today I had another "kitwo moment" [see Glossary]. Right after finishing the puzzle, I Googled "spread-toothin'," thinking, "Well, I get it, I guess, because after having bitten off more than you can chew, your jaws are far apart ... but does anyone actually say that?" Sigh. No, it's "spread too thin."


Aside from that, this one went right along. After dropping in BANC (Fixture in un parc), the NE fell in no time. I never actually saw the 2008 "Get Smart" movie, but ALANARKIN was born to play the role of the Chief. And one-point Scrabble tiles or not, there's only one number that starts with N and has eight letters.

With the "ken" in place at the end, SPRINGCHICKEN (No oldster) fell in, but those other two central entries took many more crosses. We've already discussed the middle one, but "Something a toddler might chug?" for CHOOCHOOTRAIN is also worth mentioning for its high-quality QMC.

I guessed SkaT for the "Two-player card game" (SPIT), which made PEPTO (Stomach soother, for short) and ICEES (Summertime coolers) more difficult than they had to be, but eventually the triple-ten stack in the SE straightened everything out.

The trickiest area for me was the opposite triple-stack in the NW, where the painting misdirect kept me from seeing SHAVINGKIT (One might have oils and a brush), and I kept thinking of things like gloves and hard hats for 1D: Prepares to enter a work zone, perhaps (SLOWS), instead of actions. LETITSLIDE (Look the other way), ONRETAINER (Under contract, as a lawyer), and GLISSANDO (Notable feature of the opening clarinet solo in "Rhapsody in Blue") are all lovely answers. SHAGRUGS, SPONGEMOPS, and ACTIONITEMS are a little less exciting, but still, there's not much that's really troublesome.

- Horace


  1. 15:18
    I nearly finished the puzzle in ten minutes, but I, too, tried SkaT where SPIT goes, and that led to a five-minute penalty in the SE. I had the ___SU___ where LASTSUPPER goes, but incorrectly entered teN where PIN goes, thinking of the dreaded seven-ten split. Really, I wanted __jeSUs__ to be part of 52A, but there was no "s" option for 55D and no way that a "j" could fit into a five-letter word for 41D Airdrops?, so I eventually had to reject that germ of an IDEA. Mmmm...PEPITAS. The '08 "Get Smart" was quite good, IMO, as was the casting in general. I'm naturally partial to the cast of the series, including the great Edward Platt, but the movie was very enjoyable.

  2. 7:26
    Once again finished with assists from Cece and Phoebe. Cece got SPREADTOOTHIN and GRECIAN. Nice work! I did not fall into the SkaT trap because the downs were easy since I'd come in from the other direction. 41A: They precede slashes: Abbr. (MOS) - wow. That's a really tricky clue! I loved GLISSANDO, which went in without a cross, says this ex-clarinet player.