Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wednesday, July 22, 2020, Peter A. Collins


So, here's how you know you're not a crossword constructor. You don't walk around, thinking about how cool it would be to come up with phrases which contain both the periodic table abbreviation and the standard name for a given element.

But fortunately, Mr. Collins has done it for you! All you have to do is fill in the grid, and enjoy the odd circumstances of these four phrases.

The best by far, in my opinion, is 43A: "Are you as jazzed as I am?" (ISNTITEXCITING). The phrase is fun, and the abbreviation for tin is SN, which is a weird combination of letters. I also liked PAULGOLDSCHMIDT, which I was able to fill in pretty quickly, and which made clear what the theme was going to be. SAFEENVIRONMENT is an odd phrase, but I see it is well represented on the Google, so all is well.

I love the trivia for 30D: Bob Feller and Nolan Ryan each pitched 12 of these (ONEHITTERS). Of course, Ryan is famous for his seven no-hitters, while Feller only managed three. A paltry three. Who is he to think he's one of the greatest pitchers of all time? The mini-theme is completed with TRIPLEA.

Mr. Collins often reaches for fun fill, so I will call out LAUGHLINES, BUMLEG, POPO, and the self-referential NYTIMES, right in the middle of the grid. In exchange, you do get items like RHOS, which should just not happen at all, OLIO, a highly unused crosswordese, and trivia bit OSSA.

Well, overall, I think it worked out well.

- Colum


  1. 15:34
    Well, I thought I went along pretty quickly once I figured out the theme, thanks to the circles, with MILITARYJARGON. Once I had that, with a couple of crosses in the remaining themers, I was able to fill in the circles, anyway. It didn't help with PAULGOLDSCHMIDT, where I needed most of the other crosses, but the others fell pretty easily. I agree with Colum on the best of the four. ION had a nice clue (58D B+, e.g.), in keeping with the chemical symbol theme. And I must say that NOPETS is one of the requirements we have for any hotel at which we stay. Fun puzzle and amusing fill (mostly). We all know that a puzzle sporting circles can go either way.

  2. 7:52

    What an odd, yet wonderful theme. Thumbs up.