Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Wednesday, September 30, 2020, Erik Agard and Andy Kravis


One could imagine that today's puzzle was hand-picked to follow yesterday's debate. Not being one of the so-called undecided voters, I did not watch it. I did, however, see headlines today that spoke of much FOULLANGUAGE being traded by the two candidates, only one of which, it now appears, is STINKINGRICH. The other, as has been repeatedly and embarrassingly shown, should be categorized among RANKAMATEURS. Will this country reach a RIPEOLDAGE? Or will our ERRING ways HAUNT us as we go from chanting USAUSA to being simply something that once WAS?

one of many possible UPDOS

On a happier note, any mention of SIRDUKE (Stevie Wonder's tribute to Ellington) always makes me smile. He sounds so happy and into the music - especially at the end when he shouts "Go!" to start those runs for the last time. At the end of the first one he gives out a yell, and after the next shouts, I think, "Down with the love!" before giving out a laugh before the last one. As I said, it always makes me smile, and the more I can get of that feeling these days, the better.

And continuing on with things I like, I have always loved the CHEETAH (Something spotted on a safari). And closer to home, is there any more symbolic American creature than the BUFFALO (Sacred creature to many Native Plains people)? (OK, sure, the eagle maybe.)

I do not enjoy GRAPPA, but as it makes me think of Italy, and particularly our friends who live in Bassano del Grappa, I'll allow it. TRAPEZE (High bar?) is fun, SPARSE is interesting, and I loved the "game within a game" clue for STATES (What "radio wave," "foregone" and "main event" all hide). 

Overall, despite it drawing my attention to distasteful political matters, I am a fan of this mid-week puzzle.

- Horace

p.s. If you are a fan of "Spelling Bee," or if you have played it and are not a fan, you are invited to make your opinion known through this link. I submitted my own thoughts yesterday.


  1. 10:57
    SHUSHES and GOTWIND are nice, and rarely seen. I've never called chess whizzes GMS, but I'll take that, and I guess I, too, will allow GRAPPA, although I will avoid the actual stuff at most costs. I've seen NANETTE pop up on my Netflix front screen on the TV, but haven't watched it, and probably won't, unless someone recommends it. KAUAI dropped right in, of course, but ASHE, clued differently than normal, took a couple of crosses. Strange that Horace didn't give a passing mention to the ALPS.

  2. 8:55
    At first, thanks to FUNKYCHICKEN being the final theme answer, my brain, probably due to its RIPEOLDAGE, turned FOULLANGUAGE into "fowl language" so that when I reviewed the other theme answers, they didn't make any sense. Derp.
    APT use of puzzle answers in your review today, Horace. APT!

  3. 4:50
    I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on Spelling Bee. The fam got very into it over the summer, but we had the hardest time completing the full word lists.

    Good puzzle, definitely. Huygens, I will put in a strong recommendation for NANETTE, which was really something astonishing, in my opinion. It is certainly not your typical standup comedy special, and she is riveting in her presentation. Mind you, you do have to get past the Tasmanian accent.

    1. OK, I'll give it a whirl. I look forward to the accent.

  4. Before I even got any of the theme answers, I filled in FOwLLANGUAGE for the revealer. I mean, it was so obvious! You can't fool me, I've been doing this crossword thing, I know how this game is played.

    But then when the bird wanted to be at the end, not the start, of FUNKYCHICKEN I knew something was wrong. And I'd never heard of a "hawk amateur". Well and RIPEOLDAGE although it clearly fit the clue, was not something I filled in because it needed to be something more like "wise old owl" except reworded so the owl goes first. Or what's another bird which lives a long time? A cassowary perhaps? You can see my problem.

    Around this time I had enough crosses to get HAUNT and well things fell into place quickly.

    Still kind of wish it was the birds. Oh well, I'm sure the bird theme (or variants thereof) has been done before and probably will be done again, so I shouldn't be too sad.