Thursday, July 16, 2020

Thursday, July 16, 2020, Evan Kalish


An artfully executed theme today, hiding the letters a-r-t in black squares and turning them into DARKART, as it were. I wasn't completely sure what was going on until I hit the revealer at the very bottom, so that worked perfectly. Only then was I able to remember the name [ART]HURDENT (Protagonist in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"), and [ART]ICLEII (Part of the Constitution establishing the executive branch) finally made sense. The last to fall was the very fine [ART]IFICIALHE[ART] (Lifesaving prosthetic). That's a really elegant touch, running straight down the middle like that, and crossing it right in the center with TRICK. Apt!

Of course, it's one of those TRICKs that leaves letter strings like ICLEII and FLOWCH in the grid, but sometimes you've just got to accept such things, and not be a BOOER about it. OTOH, I can complain a little bit about BOOER, right?
Things I won't complain about are ALDENTE (Firm, in a way), EROTICA, TABOO, STORYARC, BAMBI ("____ Meets Godzilla" (classic film short)) (I just watched it on YouTube - it's worth a look), and FODDER (Hay, say) (cute). "Subpar performance?" was a fun QMC for BIRDIE, and an interesting non-QMC for HUMS (Doesn't remember the words, say). And the clue for CIA (Its HQ contains a sculpture with a still-unsolved coded message) sounds like a rallying cry for the entire population of puzzlers who daily solve the NYTX! So let's get to it! Google, here I come.

- Horace

p.s. Frannie turned in another of her coupons today, and I can't say I blame her. It's her first day back at the office since mid-March! Hopefully, she'll be back again tomorrow.


  1. So if you are working on a paper copy )yes, We actually get the paper) where is the revealer

  2. "The revealer" is what we call the entry within the puzzle that explains the trick. In this case, it is 68-Across: "Witchcraft ... or what each block of three black squares in this puzzle represents?"

    In other words, every set of three black squares together represents the letters "A-R-T," as in the stack of three black squares between 7- and 8-Down, and to the left of 62-Down. If you imagine those black squares covering up the letters A-R-T, the nonsensical "IFICIALHE" becomes "artificial heart."

    It's the same whether you're on paper, the web, or in the app.

  3. 14:09
    Well, I thought my time was good until I saw Horace's! Nice job. I got the trick quite early on without actually seeing the revealer until I got down to it. Of course, having read "Hitchhiker's" many times and seen the relevant TV series and movie many times, [ART]HURDENT is always with me. I actually broke into the theme at [ART]ICLEII (which I knew) because I already had a few of the crosses and could see that a rebus "arti" would in no way work for the down. Really a nicely-flowing puzzle today, and there's even some EROTICA in there, although Sue says I probably wouldn't enjoy the particular book referenced. OMAHA always reminds me of the ads during "Wild Kingdom" with Marlin Perkins.

  4. I sensed a trick because I knew about Arthur Dent and Article 2 and sort of assumed something involving poison somehow, but I was sort of thinking rebus or reworded versions of those answers or something else until relatively late.

    Favorite answer: definitely MATCHA. I guess we won't see that one often, with only two vowels. But very nice. And I just had some really nice green tea this morning, so it is thematic to my day.