Saturday, May 9, 2020

Saturday, May 9, 2020, Erik Agard and Miriam Estrin


A larger-than-normal (15x16) puzzle (the second this week) was required today to fit the IMPOSSIBLEBURGER right there in the middle. It's the first time that entry has been used (thanks,!), which isn't all that surprising, since it only became available in 2016, and really only gained widespread popularity a year or so ago. What is surprising is that it's also the first time RUMI (Persian poet whose epitaph reads "When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men") has appeared. He's been around since 1207!


Also, it seems we've seen Erik Agard's byline an awful lot lately - twice per month so far this year (not counting May), and at least once per month since September, 2017! Not that I'm complaining, mind you. He's also been doing a lot of co-creating, and this time he teams up with Ms. Estrin for her debut, and it was a good one.

I enjoyed GLAMPING (Not exactly roughing it, in modern lingo), BEERAMID (Portmanteau for an arrangement of cans in a dorm room, maybe) (Two more "firsts!"), COALESCE (Come together), and even OBLATE (Shaped like a clementine). I wasn't sure about that one, so I looked it up, and yup, that's the shape!

I thought TREETRUNK (Place to branch out) was good, but I might have preferred my original entry - TREEhouse. It was more metaphorical, maybe, but their answer works pretty well. Some other clues were a tad further off - to me anyway. "Get in contact, so to speak" for HOLLER seemed a little imprecise, but again, maybe it's just that I'm not so up on the modern lingo. And "They can go from floor to ceiling" doesn't seem quite right for LAMPS. A floor lamp can't also be a ceiling lamp, and really, even then, wouldn't you say "ceiling light?"

On the other hand, "It may be imperfect" was perfect for TENSE, and I also very much enjoyed "Secure" for LAND, "Martyr complex?" for SHRINE, and "Gripping experiences that take your breath away" for BEARHUGS. Remember hugs? ...

Solid Turn this week.

- Horace


  1. 10:01 (FWOE)
    I put in RaMI instead of RUMI. MINIBaSES seemed odd, for sure. Fun grid, lots of great stuff here.

  2. 34:57
    Took me a little longer than others (combined, as it turns out), but I was hung up in the SE with the BOS/RUMI/MINIBUSES crosses, so I stared for a long, long time until I had the "aha moment" for the MINIBUSES entry. I'd never heard of RUMI, nor the genus of cows (which seems like more of a "Webster Times" crossword clue...I mean, c'mon NYT!). TESTAMENT was great, and it's a good thing that I noticed the capitalization of both New and Old in the clue, otherwise it would've taken a long time for it. I agree that the clue for LAND is excellent. I've had an IMPOSSIBLEBURGER now, and can attest that it is far superior in taste and texture to the previous options for veggie burgers, but they're still really, really pricey in comparison. I just read a book that spoke of a HOLLER (hollow) in eastern Kentucky by Bobi Conn called "In the Shadow of the Valley." It's a different kind of HOLLER than the one clued today, to be sure, and it is quite disturbing to me that places like the one discussed in the book exist in relatively modern-day America (she grew up in the 80s). I didn't love NUHUH, and needed to correct my original entry of NoZ when I saw HoLENE and thought "Well that isn't a name" and changed it to NEZ, but other than that, it was a decent Saturday, which for me, ran a little more difficult than normal. Oh, I never heard of SETPIECE (14D Action film staple), where I originally entered carchasE.