Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sunday, August 30, 2020, Olivia Mitra Framke


Hey everybody! I'm back, after a couple of weeks of excellent reviews by Horace and Frannie. It's been pretty wild up here, what with getting Cece off to college for her first year, in the midst of a pandemic. I'd like to put in a good word here for the state of Massachusetts, where testing is plentiful with a quick turnaround. So far, so good!

Meanwhile, today's puzzle highlights a classic bit of philosophy, which I first encountered as a boy reading Ray Bradbury's short story, A Sound of Thunder. In fact, the concept of the BUTTERFLYEFFECT may have gotten its name from that story, I find upon reading the Wikipedia entry. Furthermore, when the concept was presented in a talk on CHAOSTHEORY, the title of the talk was: "Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil cause a tornado in Texas?"

When I finished the puzzle, the meaning of 62A: A.L. East team ... or, after changing a nearby black square, what a little movement by this puzzle's subject might cause? (TOR), the iPad app filled in an N in the adjacent black square. This, combined with 63A: Kerfuffle (ADO) created a TOR[N]ADO across the middle of the grid. Lovely!

In addition to the explanatory long answers at 3D, 16D, 109A, and 113A (ONESMALLTHING / CANMAKEALLTHE / DIFFERENCE / INTHEWORLD), Ms. Framke has also created some beautiful grid art with the central squares creating a butterfly. That's a lot of very nice work, and made the overall solving experience very fulfilling.

There is very little in the fill to complain about. Sure, there's ORTS, SRTA, ODIE, SERA, your classic bits of necessary glue to make the rest stick together. Oddly, I never thought of the Garfield dog as being on two legs, and it turns out I'm not wrong. He started on four legs, and later switched to two. Boy, the depths of research you dive to in writing blog reviews.

On the positive side, there are great words like BESPOKE, THRIVES, and YORKIES. Some fun C/AP's included 39D: Rabbit in a red dress (JESSICA) - she was not actually a rabbit, but because she was married to Roger, she took his last name. 33A: Remains here? (CRYPT) - I've particularly enjoyed this genre of clue, which has seemed to crop up more and more in the last year. Also, I liked 114D: On an airplane, it's filled with nitrogen rather than air (TIRE). More because the gas from containers avoids moisture, which expands much more.

This blog entry was brought to you by Wikipedia.

- Colum


  1. 27:43
    Huh, Bradbury? Meh. Nice puzzle, though, if slightly on the easy side as I solved it in under 30. Definitely a good theme with, as Colum mentions, very little to kvetch over. How about the nice COCOAPUFFS? Never my favorite cereal, though, and with so many cereals that changed the milk different colors I had to wait for a few crosses. The clue for WIPED was stellar. I did try PIEtiN before looking at crosses, which corrected it to PIEPAN. RASSLE is funny, but I wanted "wrassle." Just what a Sunday should be, since after the solve I took a few minutes to look the results over. I guess in total, I enjoyed it for a little over my 30 minute minimum.

  2. A very well researched review!

    The clue for ECON was cute.

  3. Your explanation of JESSICA Rabbit's name made me LOL. And yes, this puzzle was lovely. When I was little (in college) Freeman Dyson came to give a lecture called "Butterflies and Superstrings," and it blew my little mind.

    And yeah, Jim, I agree, that was a fun little hunt!