Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Jeff Chen


I *think* the unifying feature of today's four theme answers is that all their letters have STRAIGHTEDGES at the left. I solved the puzzle in an app where the theme wasn't super obvious visually, but according to a note, in the print version of the puzzle, each square of the theme answers has a short vertical line in the left half of the square. With the added graphic, the effect must have been a true delight. :) I'll bend the usual rules and render my favorite of the theme answers vertically - and in a sans serif font. The effort justifies the result, don't you think?

I didn't become aware of the theme until after I solved the puzzle, but it is a neat trick. I did, however, take note of some fun clues, including
"Rude rejection" (BITEME)
"Duds" (ATTIRE)
"Spike of interest in movies?" (LEE)
"Like some brides or threats" (VEILED)
"Line that an actor waits to hear" (CUE)
And my favorite, "They may hang out at pubs" (BEERGUTS)

I also liked RATCHET, PECK, FOCI, and SOUSE along with his "drinking buddy" BARTAB.

METEOR (center) seen from the International Space Station

Mr. Chen - every inch the consummate constructor - threw this solver a few curves. I tried 'pleat' at first for 'Arrange in folds" (DRAPE) and 'ice' before getting FOG (Hazard for takeoffs and landings). Also, it took me way too long to figure out the clue "Florida gridders, in headlines." Our esteemed readers know that, as a rule, sports are not my strength, so I did take a measure of satisfaction in knowing the answer (BUCS), once I understood the clue.



  1. I got the revealer pretty early and the visual effect worked for me even without the graphical enhancement.

    Favorite answer? Probably CALIPH. Although I think of political power as being the defining characteristic of a caliph, I don't necessarily object to the clue because I suppose their power goes hand in hand with a religious legitimacy.

    I didn't know the thing in football was called a DOGPILE but once I had most of the crosses, it seemed to make sense.

  2. 8:38 (FWOE)
    BEERGUTS and especially BITEME were shocks to me. I had the "beer" portion of the former for a while, but needed all of the crosses for the "guts" part. Great clue and excellent answer that I don't think I've seen before. Like Frannie, I tried pleat where DRAPE belongs at first. And I always enjoy a reference to Leia (BUN). My error came at the RAREFY/LET cross, where I'd entered an "i." I thought that LiT could have referred to "light the blue touch paper" for example, and that RARiFY was fine, but no. I didn't think too long about the theme, and didn't understand it until Frannie outlined it above.