Thursday, June 25, 2020

Thursday, June 25, 2020, Amanda Chung and Karl Ni


Today's revealer, GOOUTONALIMB, gives solvers a literal heads up to the fact that the theme answers break out of the grid with a bodily appendage - LEG|ALLYBLONDE, WORKSLIKEACH|ARM, and WHISTLEBLO|WING. I guessed something was up when I tried the full title of the Reece Witherspoon movie at 35A and it didn't fit. Getting the revealer a little later gave me a foot in the door, and with the help of a few downs in the middle, I was eventually able to get the whole LEG in.

In addition to the fun theme, I thought the bones of the puzzle were strong. I enjoyed:
"They take dedication to write" (ODES)
"A chair might hold one" (GAVEL) - a nice twist!
"Really stand out" (POP) - fun
"Informal title of respect" (CAPN)
"Gift that much thought is put into" (ESP)
and especially "Scary story" for ATTIC. Ha!

I also liked HAZIER, GAWKY, and WHOOPED.

Electron micrograph of Martian meteorite ALH84001 showing structures that some scientists think could be fossilized bacteria-like life forms
I didn't go top to toe without hitting a few snags here and there. Was it wrong to consider 'lucy' as a "1950's-'60s sitcom nickname?" Also, I've got to stop putting in SATIsfy where SATIATE is wanted. I think that's happened to me three times in the last couple of weeks. And did anyone else notice that 'clothingBIN' has the same number of letters as DONATIONBIN? I did.

When I eventually got all of *that* sorted, I found myself faced with a tangle of problems in the middeast. The situation had all the earmarks of a FWOE. While I did have some notion of R&B singer Gray's first name, I wasn't sure of the spelling. I had entered NYse for Big Apple inits, and thus talked myself into MACe being acceptable. I wasn't too sure which characteristic of a hedgehog was wanted at 38A, perhaps because I was thinking of the excellent joke, "why can't he just share the hedge?" That lead me down the garden path toward words like 'greedy' and 'selfish', neither of which fit, obviously, but that didn't stop me from trying to find a synonym that would! I also had AsE where ANE was wanted, and I really had no idea what the "Crankcase component" might be. Also, I tried ParadEHORSE for POLICEHORSE. Is a parade horse even a thing? What won't the brain think of? I did have one good idea, though, and that was to take everything out of that section and start over, this time, with complete success - he said OILPAN!

I was very happy to avoid the FWOE today, which was not the case yesterday - the band name/Hungarian hunting dog cross did me in. But to get back to today's puzzle, I think it an excellent body of work!



  1. I filled in GO OUT ON A LIMB before any other themer, which gave me a huge advantage. The one answer that stumped me for the longest time was 1 Across. I didn't think of LUCY...but I couldn't think of anything except FONZ -- rationalizing that the series was *about* the 1950s, duh. But gee...isn't "Beaver" the nickname? For Theodore, I mean? BEAV seems like a nickname's nickname. :-) Fun puzzle!

  2. 6:25
    I love this sort of thing. I had WORKSLIKE___ and left the rest blank in case it was going to be a rebus. Instead when I filled in ALLYBLONDE, I got what was going on, even before the revealer. I too loved ATTIC.

  3. 17:56
    I dropped BEAV right in, not rememberting the Fonz (really not even considering a '70s show), and not thinking at all, happily, about Lucy. But I did try out NYse, like Frannie, before being stymied with the crosses. I knew MACY, and what about "The Piranha Brothers" sketch? SPINY Norman, anyone? I also tried dOdO where BOZO belongs, which added to my time a bit. I like how the constructors included all appendaged fauna in their limb theme and weren't Homo-centric.

  4. You can add "products of some plants" to your list of deliciously clever clues. I should be onto such tricks, but I was stuck on resins, or fruits, or a whole bunch of other things without the right number of letters or the right crosses.