Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday, June 28, 2020, Jon Schneider and Anderson Wang


Hey, everybody! I'm up early today because I dropped my older daughter at the airport. She's headed off to Wyoming to visit her girlfriend. Turns out you can still travel on airplanes. Remember those? NOLIE: I'm just a bit nervous about her traveling, but she's not going to any hotspots, so hopefully it will all be just fine.

Anyway, after two weeks of fine reviews by Horace and Frannie, you get a week of me. I'll try to keep the level of play up to their usual excellence.

Today, we get a mathematical theme, in a sense. I imagine that should make Huygens approve. The revealer comes at 70A: Mathematical concepts suggested eight time in this puzzle (EXPONENTS). Throughout the puzzle, there are eight pairs of answers which are cross referenced. Each pair is set up so the second answer is up one row and to the right of the first answer, and the two are connected by an understood "to the". Thus, 113A: With 107-Across, bad sort of competition (RACE[TOTHE] / BOTTOM). If you need a visual to understand why this is an exponent:
It's a nice idea, and all eight phrases are strong. I like PLAY[TOTHE] / GALLERY and THREW[TOTHE] / WOLVES the best.

I'm impressed by the cleanness of the grid. The longest answers today have nothing to do with the theme, and most of them are fun, like ELMSTREET, TOPTENLISTS, and ETHIOPIAN, a cuisine which everybody should try. I also liked THELBOMB and THEFATES.

There are hardly any misdirecting or funny ha-ha clues. It's a nice Mae West quote: "SEX is an emotion in motion." She was the Oscar Wilde of Brooklyn, NY. Bet you didn't know that's where she hailed from!

It is odd to see ELOI and OLEO, two ancient crosswordese, in an otherwise very clean grid. But these are classic ways to make sections hang together, and in a way they're old friends at this point.

Well, that's all he SCRAWLED for today. See you tomorrow!

- Colum

P.S. A double debut today! Congratulations, Messrs Schneider and Wang!


  1. I really enjoyed this puzzle and I HATE math -- flunked algebra in high school and, combined with flunking home ec, wouldn't have graduated with my class except they gave me the needed credit for driver's training. Anyway, after I filled in EXPONENTS, I looked it up, which increased my appreciation for this puzzle. Lots o' fun!

  2. 37:45
    I highly approve of the concept, as Colum expected that I would. I knew that Mae West was from Brooklyn because I just saw an "American Masters" documentary on her: "Mae West: Dirty Blonde." It was quite good. I've been a fan ever since seeing her in her least favorite film, but the one that she suspected would be the one everyone remembered: "My Little Chickadee" with W.C. Fields. Interesting that she never tried to hide her Brooklyn accent. THEDUDE abides. The word ERUDITE always reminds me of "The Piranha Brothers" sketch (as did Spiny Norman from a few days ago). I will opt out of trying ETHIOPIAN cuisine, though. I'm not too keen on eating with my hands, number one, and number two, we don't have any restaurants out here near the YBH that serve it. I guess of the theme answers, I liked WELCOME [to the] CLUB and THREW [to the] WOLVES the best, and I love that EXPONENTS is prominent in the center of the grid.

  3. Did anyone else notice that geTS[to the] point fits where the intended answer is CUTS[to the]CHASE? Well, I noticed, the hard way. Oh well, it didn't take all that much looking at crosses to realize I needed to change it.

    Fun theme. Plus I suppose we have a mini-theme with INHELL and STPETER. Favorite answer? Probably OINTMENT.

  4. Should the revealer have been in the upper right?

    Just now I had some fun looking at the grid seeing if I could exponent-ize anything else. "RETREATS to the SMELTER" was all I could find.

    Fun theme!

  5. I see "expedite" is related to EXPEDITION, but it seems a stretch to assume HASTE. Perhaps it was INHELL from the OUTSET.