Thursday, August 20, 2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020, Grant Thackray

 0:10:30 (F.W.T.E.)

Kind of a cute theme today that I didn't understand at all until I hit the revealer - even though I had completely filled two of the three theme answers! I noticed that "IM" appeared to be missing from my answers, but I thought there'd be some explanation using "instant messaging" or something. When I got the revealer, I saw that the word time was slightly "wrinkled," popping up into the row above in each answer. Very nice.

Another aspect of the theme may be the SENT[IM]ENTALVALUE of some old crossword answers oft seen ERE NOW. It's been a while since ESME (Salinger title girl) or ODIE (Jon Arbuckle's dog) made an appearance, and I'm guessing my father got MORT[IM]ERMOUSE (*Mickey's rival for Minnie's affection) more quickly than I did! MINIME (Dr. Evil's little clone in the "Austin Powers" films) feels positively fresh compared to the two Latin abbreviations and the Shakespearean DIDST

But speaking of the Latin, especially mens REA, it ties in nicely with my favorite clue today: "It can be broken, but not fixed" (LAW). That's a new clue, as far as I can tell, for that simple little word, and it's really quite lovely. 

I think today IVE got to be a little LAX, and overlook many a NIT, like the two "hypen" clues: ESE (-speak) and IES (-y, pluralized) (wow); the never-before-seen-by-me alternative spelling of Shiva (Hindu god of destruction (SIVA)); WAL; and EWERS (another classic!). 

I'll not get SORE. Instead, I'll make myself a COSMO or grab one of the CLARETS from the cellar (alcohol - that PANACEA), take ASEAT, and listen to some ELLA.

By the way, somewhat appropriately, my mistake came from not taking my time - I misspelled CIERA with an S, and guessed tMEN instead of GMEN for "Feds." It wasn't too hard to find what went wrong when 1A appeared as IsINtS, but really, I should have allowed for a little wrinkle in my solving time and reviewed the puzzle before filling it all the way in! I guess this would be a good time to make one more call for a "Finished" button that we could press instead of just being judged immediately upon filling in the last square. I've always thought this would be more like the "raising your hand when you're sure you're done" feeling at the ACPT. So how 'bout it?

- Horace


  1. 17:23
    The proposed "finished" button would hurt on a Monday, wouldn't it? I mean, those puzzles are just a race for the most part, and having to push a button could mean the difference (for me) between a 4:59 and a 5:00. Other days, it would be fine, but I often just leave a square blank until I'm sure, or at least have it down to two or three possibilities. My last squares today, for example, were the PHSCALE/SIVA/AIL/LEU crosses, until I figured out, that is, that PH_C__E was PHSCALE! I was thinking of baseball or makeup and couldn't get past it. And Romanian currency, AIL for "languish" and, as Horace mentions, the oddly spelled SIVA didn't help matters. The theme, however, was fine, and I figured it out at 16A SENT[IM]ENTALVALUE because of crosses and MINIME, so even MORT[IM]ERMOUSE wasn't a problem. I didn't know that the LWORD had a sequel series; please don't tell Sue. Thanks.

  2. 6:19
    Very cute puzzle. Only 14 x 15! PHSCALE was also my last word entered. HOLESAWS was entirely new to me (funny that it is symmetrically opposite from 38D: It's got teeth - SPROCKET - which I was sure would be about a saw).

    1. What, you neurosurgeons don't use HOLESAWS? How do you get in there?

    2. This is funny because I am not a neurosurgeon. Those lesser beings create "burr holes" using a drill. I on the other hand am that highest of beings, a neurologist. No getting my hands dirty with silly surgeries for me.

  3. I've seen HOLESAWS in the hardware store a lot although I'm not sure I've ever used one. This was a fun theme for me because I first noticed the missing IM in SENT[IM]ENTALVALUE and was pondering a rebus or hiding letters behind nearby black squares other trickery but it wasn't until I got to the revealer that I figured out that it was indeed other trickery and the nature of said trickery.

    As for the general volume of eyebrow raising clues, yeah, I see that. For me, I don't think I've heard an application called an APP. But I think I'd take this sort of thing over celebrities I'd never hope to know. Although I'm sure LWORD is obscurer to some solvers than it is to me.