Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tuesday, October 6, 2020, Alan Massengill and Andrea Carla Michaels


The multitude of F's and S's in this puzzle reminded me of a lovely Strindberg and Helium video. If you can spare the time, I suggest spending 1:31 seconds watching it.

We can thank the amusing theme for the extra F's. The letter F is added to the front of common two-word phrases which are clued accordingly. So a "Scary landlord?" is FRIGHTFULOWNER and Anti-fuel extraction slogan? is FRACKANDRUIN. FRISKYBUISNESS (What Fancy Feast and Meow Mix compete in?) is entertaining, but my favorite is FRANKAMATEUR (One who freely admits not being any good?). Apt!

Perhaps it was the all-S answer (SSS) at 47A (Sound of 1-Across) - which sported a pair of its own in HISS - that got me started noticing the S's in the puzzle, and there are quite a few (HEISTS, SSGTS, ESSO). So, yeah, S and F. :)

Fortunately, there are enough other letters in the grid to support a number of FINE C/APs including "Classify, as blood" (TYPE), "Gung-ho" (AVID), "Imposed, as a tax" (LEVIED), and "Not in operation, as a Broadway theater" (DARK). 


I also liked SCOUR, IODINE, and STOIC. And, way to kick it old school with a reference to the MAYTAG repairman. 

I noted a number of fun pairs in the puzzle: two foot parts (ARCH and SOLE - the latter of which could also pair with COD), GAS and ESSO, HALF and CALF, THELMA and UIES, and of course ANJOU. HAHA



  1. 3:51
    Forced myself to continue in that last corner where SSG__ looked nigh impossible. Fortunately the crosses demanded it. I love FRISKYBUSINESS.

  2. Definitely can see why you'd be reminded of that video although as I watched it I was thinking "but iron is Fe not F"

    Makes me think there must be some crossword theme possible about turning base metals to gold. Something like each theme answer has a circled A and U, or GOLD or something? I don't know, it isn't very well developed so I don't know if there is a way to turn it into something real.

    Oh, the puzzle. Fairly smooth for me except that I put in ACTv instead of ACTI, obviously thinking that a dramatic ghost visit would fit better as the action builds towards a climax. I'm full of suggestions for making the world different today, aren't I?

  3. 8:30
    Look at that time, Frannie! Pretty close. Does anyone remember that Gordon Jump (a.k.a. Art Carlson as well as George's boss) was the MAYTAG repairman for a while? HAHA puzzle, with my favorite theme answer being FRISKYBUSINESS, although I don't take a cat in general. Nice to see Jenna Fischer in there (PAM) as well as PIANO, clued in kind of a straight, obvious way, but that's OK. And Mr. Kingdon, I seem to remember a puzzle like you suggest having happened already, but it was quite a while ago. OVER.

  4. 4:34

    Amusing theme. My favorite might be FRANKAMATEUR, but they're all good.