Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020, Dory Mintz


A cute theme today where cities replace words in familiar two-word phrases and are clued in a way that forces them to make sense. As in, "Ways to cross a river in Switzerland?" BERNBRIDGES, and "First showing at a film festival in France?" CANNESOPENER. Ha!

Not only does it have an amusing theme, it also includes the amusing ICANTEVEN ("That is too much for me"). Although often said in exasperation, this phrase almost always contains at least a little bit of self-awareness and humor. Also, the words SLEWS, PHOBIA, KUMQUAT, ORIOLE, and ENHANCE all ENHANCE the fill.

On the non-enhancement side, I would include the BABU/BABA pair. The first is, I grant, interesting trivia, and the second, while it may be tasty, has the slight off-taste of crosswordese. IMUS and TWOTERM have an unpleasant "politics" vibe, and the inclusion of four (!) additional cities - GENEVA, AGRA, CAEN, and SOCHI - seems a little unfortunate in a theme focused, as it is, on cities. Add to that a DAB of PHON, REV, GTE, ESE, and LYIN, and you've got a valid BEEF

IMHO, however, the amusing theme wins out today. PRETTY solid debut puzzle, and I'll be looking forward to more from Mr. Mintz.

- Horace


  1. 12:00
    Sheesh, tough crowd. At least the puzzle overall gets a tepid thumbs up from Horace. I thought it a fine Wednesday with an inventive theme. Granted, it's odd that so many other cities were included in the regular fill, and I'll give Horace the SLEWS of threes and partials that he mentioned, and even the BABU/BABA inclusion, but I'd hate to BERNBRIDGES with the constructor; after all, I'm sure there's much GRAD-level puzzling to KUMQUAT from Dory Mintz's constructing SHOP, ELSE I'm in PRETTY serious ERROR. I'm a FANFIC.

  2. Oooooh, Crow as in American Indians. I was stuck on "isn't Corvus a genus rather than a subfamily or tribe?" but none of the bird related line of thought was making any sense anyway.