Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Jacob Stulberg

17:54, FWOE

I finished all but one square of the grid after coffee this morning, then I put the puzzle down. I knew a Natick when I saw one, and see one I did, almost right smack dab in the middle of the puzzle, where "Reformer Jacob" crossed "Golfer Michelle." It will come as no surprise to our devoted readers that I did not know sportswoman Michelle's last name. I did have some notion that Jacob's last name sounded like 'reese' but my first attempt at capturing the sound with an 'ei' letter combination was a fail. Fortunately, I next thought of the very Dutch 'ii' combo which produced the correct RIIS and WIE. And here I PRIED myself on my language skills. 

Enough about me. Let's get back to the puzzle. Today's revealer reads "Abandon ... or two words often seen next to the starts 17-, 27-, 47-, and 60-Across." What the clue doesn't say is that while the two words are both next to the start of the theme answer, they are not next to each other. Here's the pattern to follow: FOR [entity + possessive 's] SAKE. For example: For PETES[DRAGON] sake. My own preferred entity in this equation is 'pity,' which was not included, but now that I think about it, may be that the entity in the formula above should be amended to 'religious entity.' 

I enjoyed the ambiguous "Was out" for SLEPT and similarly, "What a fountain may provide" (COLA). I was surprised by the surprising HARDG for "Big finish?" because the hard g is so normal in that case it seemed odd to use it as the example in the clue, but maybe that made it more surprising! Other clue/answer pairs I liked include "Bereft, old-style" (LORN), "Noggin" (BEAN), and "Suggests, flavorwise" (TASTESOF). I also liked the fun fill RHINOCEROS and EPEEISTS

On the other hand, I'm not completely sold on the equivalence between "Gusto" and ELAN or "Bumpkin" and YAHOO


I reJOIST to see that women are unusually well represented in this puzzle. We have Dame EDNA, the aforementioned Michelle WIE, THEDA Bara, TERI Polo, and ALEK Wek. Maybe it was mere chance, but it is nice to see. RAS!



  1. Don't know if the drag persona of Dame Edna quite counts as female representation, but hey I'll take it. For what it is.

    My most amusing hiccup was CYTo before CYTE.

    And yes I liked RHINOCEROS but only because EIGHTHUNDREDPOUNDGORILLA didn't fit.

    1. Good point about Dame Edna, Jim. I knew the name but had no other information about the person(a). I made assumptions, and we all know where that leads. Dame Edna's Wikipedia page makes interesting reading. Thanks.

  2. 6:27
    I was slow tonight, but enjoyed the revealer and theme. Had no clue that's what was going on until I finished the whole puzzle.

  3. 12:12
    I, too, was slow for a Tuesday. Odd theme. There was certainly a heavily religious bent to it, which is fine with me even though I don't take to that sort of thing. And as far as Frannie's error goes, had I not seen the name WIE before today, I, too, would have FWOEd on that square, having never heard of this RIIS person. I tried brutus where SEAHAG goes, misremembering Bluto's name, but crosses fixed that up quickly.

  4. 10:53

    Also slow. Nice challenge, and kind of a funny theme.

    And Huygens - Bluto's name was changed to Brutus at one point in Popeye's history, so either would have been correct. Except that both are wrong.

    Jacob Riis was a large figure in both the history of photography (where I learned of him) and in urban reform. I thought it was nice that the title of his most famous book was included today.

    1. I guess I'm not up on Popeye history! Nice to know. Odd that it would have been changed.