Saturday, October 24, 2020

Saturday, October 24, 2020, Byron Walden


This was a struggle, which is always welcome on a Saturday, but it wasn't as satisfying to finish as they sometimes are.

Muralla de AVILA

I started by dropping in RAZORSHARP (Superquick on the uptake), which made me feel superquick on the uptake :), and that led to an ORGY of quick answers in the NW. Then in the NE, CREME ( ____ fraƮche) (delicious), ENT (Suffix with insist), and TAKE (Word with hot or spit) were GIMMEs, and they led to URBANAREA (Home to about 4 in 5 Americans, per the census), but not much else.

My favorite clue was "Digital access points" (FINGERTIPS). That's a great non-QMC. At first I didn't love "Intellectual property?" (IVORYTOWER), but looking at it now, several hours after solving, I have softened on it. 

The tens in the SE - SAYITPROUD, INEVIDENCE, and STREETFAIR - are all solid, but I didn't like the SW nearly as much. "Pileup after digging a hole" for DEBT seemed a little arbitrary. I just don't think of the expression "digging a hole" as pertaining to spending. Perhaps some do. And BREECHING (Going from petticoats to pants, once) might have once been a thing, but I don't feel that it was a very well-known thing, and it seems like "dresses" would have been more accurate than "petticoats." Likewise AGETOAGE (Eternally, in religious parlance) seemed a bit "meh."

I don't know ... maybe I just caught a BADBOUNCE. I hope you liked it better than I.

- Horace


  1. 10:52
    I definitely loved FINGERTIPS and IVORYTOWER. But this is typical of Mr. Walden's style - a ton of incredibly misleading clues, with some potentially not so great answers. But I really liked 46A: Passing options (ABCD) - that takes some chutzpah.

  2. 51:30
    A struggle, indeed, and on the first pass I didn't think I'd be finishing the thing. That hasn't happened in a while. But slowly I started to fill things in, starting in the NE and working clockwise. Like Colum says, incredibly misleading clues. COlEArn fits right in where COTEACH belongs, which didn't help matters up there, but thank goodness for crosses like HAIRDOS, which allowed me to see COTEACH and get VATECH and UNIT, which I don't quite understand as an answer to 15D Tesla, for one. I assume it's in reference to Tesla being a UNIT of Musk's parent company. I tried AhopeANDAPRAYER at first instead of AWINGANDAPRAYER, which slowed me down some more. Lots of slowdowns, but eventually I solved it. One GIMME for me was KRONA, having spent many of them in Iceland recently.

  3. It was hard, but I had a good time with it. A WING AND A PRAYER is a beaut. TESLA is actually the SI unit of magnetic flux density which I only know because I just looked it up. :-)