Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Tuesday, October 27, 2020, Luci Bresette and David Steinberg


Maybe I've spent too much time recently playing Spelling Bee, but today's theme answers reminded me of the game a little bit (emphasis added for emphasis). Each theme clue contains a phrase in all capitals and each corresponding answer uses all and only the letters in that phrase to form answers that are apt vis-a-vis the original phrase. Apt! Is there a word for this particular ILK of letter permutations? I don't know of one, but maybe an example will enrich my anemic prose: 15A: "Apt phrase that uses just the letters of U.S. CAPITOL (POLITICSASUSUAL). Another one, TRAININGSEMINAR drawn from MASTERING was the most apt. I was less sure about the aptness of GETTINGMARRIED for "GRAND TIME" but I suppose everyone's mileage will vary on that front. :)

I think we can all agree, though, that solving the rest of the puzzle was fun. The clues are well-written and entertaining. Here are some of my favorites:

"Hershey's foiled confection" (KISS)

"Help with a holdup" (ABET)

"Sleep disrupter in a fairy tale" (PEA)

"Mascara target" (LASH)


It was nice to see our old friend EEL again, this time decked out in style with the clue "Sinuous fish." And I enjoy the fact that "Candy heart sentiment" (LUV) is common enough to make it a crossword entry. 💖

The puzzle also showcased some classic clue tricks. There were a few nicely ambiguous clues like "Things you might open with a click" (PENS). "Hitch, say" (KNOT), and my favorite, "Feed the kitty" (ANTE). There was also fun with capitals in "Dolphin's home" (MIAMI) and "Lightning Bolt" (USAIN), not to mention a straight up pair of matching clues that get good marks: "Grade upgrade" (PLUS) and "Grade downgrade" (MINUS). 

Fill-wise, I liked TABLELINEN, REALM, and KAPUT. I also like HENCE ("Beginning to a logical conclusion"), but I prefer it as another kind of conclusion in the phrase "get thee" 



  1. 9:35
    My favorite was the USAIN cluing. My favorite themer was TREASUREHUNTER, although I thought none of them were really spot-on, including Frannie's fave. PENS was pretty tricky for sure. My time isn't stellar, but my solve was steady and the theme was fine for a Tuesday. I'll give it a B-PLUS.

  2. I really enjoyed it, POLITICS AS USUAL being my favorite. This employs the use of a "letter bank," (which I'd never heard of until yesterday). Wikipedia tells me the Letter Bank Puzzle was invented by Will Shortz in 1980.

    1. I like the sound of "letter bank." I feel like I have more to store in there than a $ bank. :)

    2. I hear you, Frances!