Friday, August 21, 2020

Friday, August 21, 2020, Alex Eaton-Salners


Today we see that rare bird, the themed Friday puzzle. It's an interesting tribute to SAINT BASILSCATHEDRAL in REDSQUARE, complete with a grid-art ONIONDOME in the center. Me, I was not aware of that church by name, and now, seeing the photo, I do not recognize it. It looks rather Disney-ish, doesn't it?

As for the puzzle, I think the theme works well with its left-right symmetry and chunky, Friday-ish corners. The 3x9 stacks in the lower corners are especially good. I also found much to like in the cluing. There's the "Beat" pairing (PULSATE, EXHAUSTED) and it's friend "One not to beat" (DEADHORSE), the yoga duo (ASANA, MAT), the two composers (SOUSA and SATIE), and the Cuomo pairing (GOV & MARIO). 

I thought "Island locale" was a nicely oblique clue for KITCHEN, and "Imported European wheels" was cute for EDAMS. "17 and 18, but not 19 or 20" took me way too long (HOLES) (it's about golf), and I'm still not sure what USMA stands for ("The Point," in brief). Oh wait, it must be short for West Point. ... nevermind.

Lots to like in this grid: PILLAGE, QUEPASA, RAINGODS, BADLANDS (so beautiful...), TAQUERIAS ... it's full of good stuff! And I knew very little about John CABOT before reading about him just now in the Wikipedia - always nice to be led into a little research by a puzzle. 

A big thumbs up from me. Hope you liked it too!

- Horace


  1. Wait, surely that sentence should read: "and now, seeing the photo, I do NOW recognize it." No?

  2. The BADLANDS brought back some really cool -- well not literally "cool" -- since the area is aptly named...very hot and eerily lonesome -- memories for me. There's a sweet looking church in Roslindale...The Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Epiphany...with two ONION DOMES. Lovely! Nice puzzle -- I solved it like a themeless until I realized it had it a theme!

  3. 7:08
    I've been there, and it is as crazy, garish, and striking in person as it is in that picture. I very much liked the puzzle, and the central black squares make an ONIONDOME in the middle of the grid!

    USMA stands for United States Military Academy, also known as West Point.

    My favorite corner was the SW, with EXHAUSTED and DESDEMONA. Very nice.

  4. 22:57
    I thought this went right along, and was quite taken with the nice cluing, too. DESDEMONA is excellent (albeit tragic), and I AGREE with Horace on the great answers. But SOUSA, "composer?" I guess some would say so. And I, too, did not previously know of this SAINT/BASILSCATHEDRAL, but look forward to visiting it at some point.