Saturday, August 15, 2020

Saturday, August 15, 2020, Joe DiPietro

28:04 (FWOE)

Solving a puzzle in a car while music is playing turns out to be more challenging than I'd have expected. Also, I think this is a tough Saturday for sure, made harder by some misguesses on my part early that took a long time to remove.

But let's just take a moment to acknowledge the beauty of that staggered central triple stack. 29A: An order might be one (SECRETSOCIETY) was incredibly hard for me to get past the nice misdirection of the clue. In addition, I had puLLSUPTO at 32D: Arrives at in a vehicle (ROLLSUPTO), and boy, were those first two letters difficult to get myself to let go of.

34A: Bar requirement (LIQUORLICENSE) is excellent, and finally fell into place when I realized (and not for the first time in a puzzle) that LAQUINTA is two words, not one. That and removing the above mentioned U which allowed me to put the Q of EQUATE into place.

Finally, SAMUELBECKETT is excellent, especially in full name, and with the excellent quote as the clue. Such a lovely set of answers and clues. That would be enough, or "Dayenu!" as we say at Seder, to make this puzzle a strong themeless. But wait, there's more!

First, I'll get my mistake out of the way. 11A: "No ___" (MSG) was a nice way for me to think I'd gotten a toehold in the NE. Because I put in Mas, which worked partially. Then I put in sLO for GLO Worms. Never had them myself, but once I corrected that S to a G, it made sense. But why did I leave it in place? Because I imagined that "No MSS" could be something an editor would say to aspiring authors, as in, "don't bother submitting to us at this time." Ah, well.

Meanwhile, 11D: Prepared to move to the sticks? (MADEANEST) almost works. It's cute, but really, once you (as a bird, that is) have made your nest, you're no longer preparing to move. In my opinion. I'd have preferred "Moved to the sticks" as the clue. But that's hardly a SOURNOTE.

In other areas, I liked OPENANEWTAB more than ADCLICKRATE, but enjoyed that these symmetric answers both were internet-related.

15A: One taking a bow (ARCHER) was an excellent non-QMC. I considered actors, fiddlers, and even dressmakers before getting the actual answer. Similarly, 2D: Finer cut, usually (SIDEA) is a wonderful non-QMC for a bit of crosswordese.

Very glad for this Turn: all three puzzles satisfied immensely. Tomorrow, Horace takes over. Good luck matching! Although perhaps you'll do better than 3/7 FWOEs in one week...

- Colum


  1. 35:34

    "Moved to the sticks" is a brilliant, and much, much better, clue for "Made a nest."

    Hard for sure today. I spent a long time in the NW, where I had entered insiSTS for "Commands" (BEHESTS), and antsY for "Anxious" (ITCHY), but nothing seemed to work with those. Finally, I decided that ADCLICKRATE and ASIS must be right, and things started to fall.

    It really was a great Turn. I got through the whole week without a FWOE, but I credit that to it not being my week to blog. :)

  2. 44:36
    Whew! I thought that it was just me that found today's puzzle pretty difficult. I see that I beat both of your times, albeit in the less desirable manner. I tried clickCounTs (see that it works for two crosses?) at first where ADCLICKRATE goes, but for the first place where a correct cross is possible in my erroneous entry, I tried the incorrect roCks (instead of CACTI). However, I did want ARCHER, so I at least doubted my stab, and I really didn't think that any landscaper worth his salt would have trouble handling rocks. I agree that MADEANEST doesn't quite work, but I'll accept it. THATISSICK is a nice one and that's pretty good trivia on HERBALPERT. CUTLERY was tricky (I tried Charger at first), and SIMULCAST is good, as was the clue for ATBAT. Nice, difficult Saturday.