Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Tuesday, September 29, 2020, Ricky Cruz


Who doesn't enjoy punctuation? Nobody. And even one were AVERSE to it, that oddball might be happy today to see four such characters broken into two and strewn over two entries. 


The tilde, hyphen, ampersand, and asterisk all appear in circled letters separated by a single black square. Very nice, really. Tidy. And I like that the revealer is a nice long grid-spanner right in the middle. During my solve, I got the revealer thanks to the first part of its clue and existing crosses, and I didn't think any more about the theme until I was done. Looking at it now, I quite like it.

And like yesterday, the fill is interesting and very clean. A couple of Spanish entries in AZUL and AMOR (Subject of una balada), a couple of classical references in HERC (Nickname for a mythical hero) ("Hey Herc!") and SPARTA (Peloponnesian War victor) (nice trivia!), and the whole thing is bracketed by photography (SEPIA) and poetry (YEATS) - seems perfect for me. :)

I enjoyed the spirit of the clues - like "Devices relied upon to a high degree?" (OVENS), "They do dos" (SALONS), and "It might be stolen in full view" (BASE). And "Shortcut for ships" (CANAL) had me stumped for a while. I kept wondering "why would they need shortcuts? They can just turn wherever they want?" Hah!

The longer non-theme material is in the Across answers today, which is a bit unusual. I like COLONIAL and EMULATED, and "Some Catholic gift shop purchases" for ROSARIES just struck me as funny. Gift shops for religions. Why not, I suppose. Where else are people going to get little Buddha statues and Whirling Dervish hats? I guess it's just that "gift shop," to me, usually brings to mind things of a more secular nature.

Lastly, it's two days in a row now for TACIT. Will we see tacet tomorrow? 

- Horace


  1. 6:19
    I was on the right wavelength for CANAL, as it went right in, and didn't Horace ever visit the Vatican? Plenty of gift shops selling ROSARIES around there. Like Horace, however, I didn't know what the theme was, despite having gotten the revealer, until I was finished with the puzzle and looked it over. INALL, I enjoyed it, but it was that strange duck in that I finished it faster than I finished the Monday puzzle. We don't often see the plural ABYSSES in a grid, which as an ASIDE is GUTSY but not particularly RISKY. Nicely done puzzle, and DARE I say that even the threes aren't extremely annoying. Always nice to see ZAPPA mentioned (I think that it was just Moon Unit's birthday yesterday).

  2. Fun! And of course I immediately thought of you, Horace, when I filled in TACIT. As for the ROSARIES clue, I thought it was dynamite and a gimme. You can visit the Vatican Gift Shop online, but sheesh, right here in Boston (where there's hot 'n cold running holy water on just about every block -- although not so much during These Strange Days) Catholic gift shops abound! There's a great one at Saint Francis Chapel in the Pru, for one. Enjoyed the puzzle, even though I wasn't familiar with the term BREAKS CHARACTER, I appreciated the effort.

  3. "Hot 'n cold running holy water on just about every block" - LOL! I'm going to have to start using that.

    And no, Kelly and Huygens, I never have visited the Vatican. I visited the Pantheon instead. :)

  4. 3:51
    Excellent puzzle! I particularly liked YEATS at the end, which just dropped right in. Did you not have time for the Vatican? We did both. I did the Pantheon twice. What an amazing piece of architecture.

  5. Unlike some people here, I dropped in kEATS, which is a perfectly crossword-worthy poet just not the one which fits this puzzle.

    Here in San Francisco, we're not exactly in "hot and cold running holy water" territory but there must be some Buddhist gift shops (or New Age, or other flavors). I especially like the (Episcopalian) gift shop at Grace Cathedral (assuming it is still there, I haven't been in years).

  6. Would those of you who've been there say that the Vatican gift shop had AMASS of ROSARIES for a mass of people attending mass?