Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sunday, July 19, 2020, Wyna Liu


Hey folks! Its Colum here, back from a lovely weekend at friends' lake house in the Catskills. The lake is actually called Wanaksink, and the first K is silent. I have not been able to find a reliable etymology for this name, and suspect it is a silly joke.

Speaking of silliness, how about today's puzzle? I love this theme so much. Ms. Liu has found nine phrases where one of the syllables can be rewritten as two of the same letter, and then pronounced as a plural of that letter. So, 114A: *Occasion for hiding in the dark, leads to SURPRIIPARTY. My favorite is DIZZCONTROL.

I give Ms. Liu lots of credit for ensuring that each answer contains a voiced S or Z sound. Thus, "Edelweiss" could not have been written EDELWII, because the last sound is an unvoiced S. I am also impressed by nine (9) theme answers. That's density of theme material. Note how she assures that no down answer goes through more than two theme answers.

So well done on the theme. How about the fill? Things did not start out well with ETS, but THECOPA and PANICBAR definitely made things look up.

33D: What sheep participate in (GROUPTHINK) - excellent. I also appreciated LIKELIKE and UPACREEK.

I did not like OCTANES, because you don't pluralize that word, and DLISTER is an answer that should move to the F list. But who wants to be PETTY (my last answer in the grid)? I was amuud by this puzzle.

- Colum


  1. 29:21
    Very well done, indeed. Of course, some of the fill would need to suffer in such a large puzzle, but really there wasn't much not to like. The theme answers are all good. I didn't know what was going on with TRAPPARTISTS, but once I got the crosses for CCTHEDAY, I had it sussed. RUHROH was amusing, as was GGLOUISE. I needed a few crosses to recall RAPANUI, but it came in without too much trouble. Sure, DLISTER wasn't great, but I've heard the term used, so I'll give it a pass. I tried CLamp at 7D, but the crosses fixed that up to the correct CLING. And I wanted PANICButton, STPAul and TENspot where PANICBAR, STPATS and TENNER go, but there weren't really any too-difficult areas for me.

  2. Funny about Wanaksink. I've never heard of that lake before, but yeah, I'm thinking silly joke. Especially in the Catskills. :)

    This theme was amuuing, but difficult for me to wrap my head around. I needed quite a few crosses for each theme answer, and DIZZCONTROL took me a good long time! Still, fun! And I don't remember seeing anything like it before.