Thursday, October 29, 2020

Thursday, October 29, 2020, Kurt Weller


I had an idea of penning my analysis sans symbols barred by 71A's square fillings - a very challenging mission which I quickly gave up on. According to the revealer, the answer NOTNOW, "if read in four pieces" was an aid in solving several clues. I managed to solve the puzzle even though I only partially understood the directive. It all seems so clear in hindsight, but in the race to solve the puzzle as fast as I could (it is my review week), I glossed over the "four pieces" part and understood it as NOT the letters in the word NOW. That was close enough for me to figure out the clues that weren't making sense to me alongside the entries I already had. I did wonder about 12D, though. The clue is "Wrought". Solving it my way, the clue should have been transformed to "rugh", but I could see from the grid that the answer was supposed to be COARSE, so I ignored the problem, finished the puzzle, and mentioned it to Horace. He spelled out the correct reading of 'No T, No W' for me and the fog lifted. It's a clever twist. 

I enjoyed the fact that the revealer didn't reveal exactly which clues needed to be modified, although, it became pretty clear to me after my first passes: the empty squares in my grid were a pretty good indication of where to look. :) I only just realized as I reviewed the puzzle for this review that one of the C/APs that made no sense to me was one of the trick clues: 2D: "Wariest animal" which is apt once you decode it to 'aries animal' (RAM). Apt!


And speaking of PEGASUS, we have a nice HAUL from ancient times with SPARTA, AVE, ARES, and AMO down there in the underworld - with a shout out up high for the HELOTS

Elsewhere in the puzzle I enjoyed "Place in office" (INSTALL), the beautifully misleading "Like all prime numbers besides one" (ODD), and "Sound off?" (MUTE). Fill-wise, I liked DOWSE and SCATHE, though one doesn't often see it as a present tense verb: I scathe, you scathe, we scathe ....

Well, amici, that's my REPORT. Vale.  



  1. 5:54
    Great theme! I worked my way down from BACH (what a wonderful place to start), raising an eyebrow at COARSE, but all the crosses worked, so I moved along. I had ROADfOG in place for a while. What is that, you ask? Why fog on the road. An obvious driving hazard that nobody ever said in real life.

    I love the two 3-letter theme answers, RAM, as noted above, and 64D: Freudian "wit" (EGO). Brilliant.

  2. 19:48
    I enjoyed the theme, even though it wasn't a rebus. And ODDly, ODD was one of my favorite answers. At first, and as intended by whomever tweaked the clue, I was angry because: 1) 1 is not a prime number, and 2) there was nothing I could fathom that would differentiate any prime number from the number one, except that they couldn't be multiplied by themselves infinitely and still come up with themselves. However, I quickly enough realized, as I filled in ODD with the downs, that the clue was "Like all prime numbers besides one ."! Really, really fantastic cluing. That made the whole puzzle for me. But then we have BACH, BEER (which go together, as he was quite fond of the stuff and would no doubt revel in the current golden age of beers, and PEGASUS (everyone loves a bit of fantasy).

  3. 11:55
    I, too, completed the grid without fully understanding what was going on - always a tad dangerous - but this time it worked out, and in time I figured it out after the fact. Really quite lovely.