Sunday, August 9, 2020

Sunday, August 9, 2020, Ruth Bloomfield Margolin


Hey everybody! It seems like a long time since I last blogged, but that's quarantime for you. This week, I'll be blogging from lovely Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, where today the beach was lovely but the people weren't far enough apart and too few masks were being worn. Not to mention the thousands of jellyfish... Fortunately, the house we're renting has a pool, so we've relocated poolside. Tomorrow, once the weekend folks have departed, we shall hope for better luck.

The puzzle's theme seems particularly apt, though. I think we can all agree that the circles were completely necessary, as, without them, I would not have had any idea what to make of the instructions found at 66A: In perfect order ... or, as two words, what's formed by applying the answers for the five italicized clues to the circled letters (SHIPSHAPE). 

As it is, the app on my iPad filled in the shape for me, which was sort of a shame. I would have liked the opportunity to figure it out on my own. Although, come to think of it, I wouldn't have been able to draw on the screen.

See, the italicized clues lead to answers which can describe shapes. For example, 36D: Rick, Ilsa and Victor had one in "Casablanca" (LOVETRIANGLE) can then be interpreted to form a triangle using the letters L-O-V-E, which then turns into the sail of the ship. Similarly, SECURITYLINE, STORYARC, SKISLOPE, and TOWNSQUARE help create the rest of the ship. I love the idea, and the carrying out of the concept.

Unfortunately, the density of circled letters in the lower half of the puzzle definitely lead to some compromises in the fill. C.f. NWT, OMRI. I am impressed by CULPRIT fitting several letters of "security" in a row.

But some fun cluing also saves the day. I laughed at 92A: Event that's a bit off? (SALE). 97A: It gives Ford an "F": Abbr. (NYSE) makes that abbreviation enjoyable. Also, 22A: S as in soup? (NOODLE) was unexpected.

Fun Sunday.

- Colum 

1 comment:

  1. 29:12
    Tougher to see with Across Lite, but impressive nonetheless. And sure, a fun enough Sunday. I, for one, look forward to the large grid. I thought that CKONE looked odd in the grid until I figured out it contains initials for Calvin Klein. Nice bit of trivia for AENEAS, and seeing that name in the grid made me think it odd that we don't see it more often with all of those nice letters. BEERHAT is something I've never worn, and would now be unlikely to wear for the remainder of my life. FISHMARKET was surprising for 109A Where to get a mullet trimmed; excellent non-QMC there.