Thursday, September 17, 2020

Thursday, September 17, 2020, Simeon Seigel


This morning at about 4am I wasn't asleep, so I opened my iPad and did a puzzle from the archives (July 5, 1997) that looked like this:

It was something of a surprise then, you will now appreciate, for me to open today's puzzle and find that it looked like this:

In the old Saturday puzzle, the plus signs were just black squares, but today, a Thursday, they play an important role in the solve. When I got to 9D: Financial incentive for an executive to stay at a company (GOLDENH[AND]CUFFS), I thought we might be dealing with a very unwieldy rebus, but when I saw that the Potomac tributary was beginning with "Shen," I was able to understand what was going on, and the revealer AND (+ ... with a hint to four pairs of answers in this puzzle) simply confirmed it. 

It's a nice trick, and it's probably not fair for me to say this, but I'm always a little disappointed by the "--" clues. They both take away a certain number of clue-portunities, and they kind of give away the trick - at least in part. But still, I loved SHEN[AND]OAHRIVER, THEGR[AND]OLEOPRY, and the handcuffs. DAGWOODS[AND]WICH is fine, but it's a little too similar to SUB (Hero) isn't it? OK, now that's really getting too picky.

I love to SOFTBOIL a couple eggs for lunch, YESSIREE, and I was amused by seeing the unusual PHIAL (Small glass container). APOLLOXI (About 600 million viewers watched its pilot in 1969) was a nice C/AP, and SCHISM is a great word. 

HOORAH to Mr. Seigel for this Thursday debut. 

- Horace


  1. Really enjoyed this! I didn't get the reveal until nearly the end of my solve, which, for me, always heightens the fun. You say it's a debut? Amazing!

  2. 5:22
    Excellent idea, which I got from THEGR[AND]OLEOPRY. What other major Nashville landmarks are there? Lots of good bars with fun music, for sure. At least that's what I remember from my visit there 4-5 years ago (also where I first had a Fat Tire beer). But I digress. Good puzzle for sure.

  3. 20:44
    Only the 42D answer OLEOPRY could have had an amusing clue (of the themers' "--" portions), IMO: "Maneuver to get the spread from her unyielding grip." The 50D entry, CUFFS, could have been bluely clued, like I'd have liked, or clued with light violence if that's your pleasure. Good Thursday trick, and certainly a nice Thursday debut. I mean, APOLLOXI and BELIEBER are adjacent! For what more could one ask?

    1. I'll have to remember the clue for OLEOPRY when I finally construct a puzzle.

  4. Got the theme starting with the revealer and noticing the plus signs. So this was very much a "theme before fill" puzzle for me. And yes I had thought of the Grand Ole Opry before that but in addition to how to make it fit, I was thinking more of abbreviated versions like "opry" or "oleopry" or who knows what.

    I really wanted the music holder one to be something more like "Manhasset stand" or some synonym thereof, but I realized something about recorded music would fit the "cloud" part of the clue better, so I had resigned myself to not seeing my dream come true this time even before I got enough crosses to find the answer.