Thursday, September 24, 2020

Thursday, September 24, 2020, Trenton Charlson


TRUSTME when I say that I am generally delighted to see Mr. Charlson's name at the top of a puzzle. I enjoy his sensibility and the way he carries out themes.

Today, I didn't understand the theme at all even after I completed the puzzle and had time to look back. Until it hit me. That's what I call an "aha" moment. The revealer comes at 63A: Explained in great detail ... or what four of this puzzle's clues are? (SPELLEDOUT). So, I had recognized early that 18-, 22-, 38-, and 57-Across all used words that were homonyms for individual letters. Thus, 18A: Kay, e.g., was clearly referring to the letter K.

But that "e.g." threw me off. What was K supposed to be an example of? And how could that relate to the answer, BEERBARREL?

You see, what you're supposed to do is spell the entire clue out, thus K-E-G, "keg!" Brilliance. The others are L-E-G (DRUMSTICK), P-E-G (CRIBBAGEMARKER - a personal favorite amongst the authors of this blog), and B-E-G (PANHANDLE). So good.

The only downer in the puzzle was Roger B. TANEY, racist and author of the Dred Scott decision. But I was able to look past this BADVIBE for other more ROBUST fare.

If you haven't read the Patrick OBRIAN Aubrey-Maturin books, you are missing out on an outstanding literary achievement. The first book is a little daunting because it explains in some great detail the makeup of a British naval ship during the Napoleonic war era. But the relationship between the two main characters is beautifully drawn.

Other enjoyable entries include GAUSS, SORCEROR, and MISSAL. I enjoyed the clue for 4D: Land of Opportunity? (MARS) - referring to the NASA exploration rover. 

Nice start to the turn.

- Colum


  1. 13:01 (FWTE)

    This review is a great example of why I like having three bloggers. You'd never catch me talking about a book! (I was going to add, "about British naval ships during the Napoleonic..." but then I thought, I don't have to!)

    I, too, am happy to see Mr. Charlson's byline, and during my twice-as-leisurely solve, I actually did have time to figure out the theme, which was amusing, but my trouble was that I did not know the justice's name. Well, that, and I didn't know the Dancing with the Stars person, and I spelled CALYX with an i instead of a Y. But other than that, everything was perfect!

    Frannie called out as soon as she got the CRIBBAGEMARKER answer. And like I was saying, that's what's so great about having us three as bloggers!

    Which reminds me a little of seeing John Prine in Paris earlier this year - he kept introducing songs as "one of his favorites," and then he realized it and said, "Gee, it's a good thing I like so many of my own songs."


  2. 18:48 (FWOE)
    I didn't figure out the theme during the solve and didn't think too much on it afterwards, so it was nice to read about it here. My error came at the CALYX/LYNX cross, where I tried an "s." I knew of TANEY (but like Horace, not of LEN Goodman, thankfully). Excellent to see BEERBARREL, ASTRO and RIOJA in the grid. I feel we've seen IMGAY before, but it was along time ago. I fondly remember BAJA, but needed all crosses for PROKEDS. Funny that IMGAY crosses GALPAL. Those books of OBRIAN sound like a lot of work.

  3. Oh my goodness thank you. I missed the ".e.g" portion of the "spell it out" clues and was really stumped.