Friday, November 27, 2020

Friday, November 27, 2020, Robyn Weintraub


How lucky can one guy get? Already a good week from a crossword perspective, and on top of that I get a creation of Ms. Weintraub’s for a Friday themeless! Also, it’s been a good week from a non-crossword perspective, just to be clear. We had a lovely Thanksgiving day yesterday, replete with way too much food. Sadly, the chocolate hazelnut pie was overdone (I thought I had turned the heat down as per the recipe, but unfortunately, I must not have pressed the final button...), but the rest of the meal was delectable.

Speaking of delectable, this puzzle was a delight. I had all but the final NE corner finished in about 3:30, and thought I was well on the way to a new record for a Friday, but that last section stumped me for a while.

I’d never heard of EEKAMOUSE, but I love the entry, and it led me to Wikipedia, as always. Apparently, it was the name of a horse he routinely bet on, and became his nickname, and then his chosen stage name. Sitting right below the classic British rock group STONEHENGE (which always reminds me of Spinal Tap), and crossed by NENE, there’s a strong musical connection going on here.

How about that clue at 26D: Page seen in a wedding album (RINGBEARER)? That’s some fine clueing. Similarly clever is the nearly symmetric 9D: Spot removers (ADBLOCKERS). Two very fine non-QMCs.

I’ve never had BANANASFOSTER before

I’ve often wondered about CFLAT, which only ever shows up in crossword puzzles in reference to harps. For those less musically inclined, the key is equivalent to B major, only instead of being notated with 5 sharps, it is notated with 7 flats (every single note). Thus it is cumbersome to interpret as you’re reading it.  In any event, key signatures are a boon to the modern constructor.

BILLTHECAT... well. Remember comic strips? Sunday funnies? Don’t see much of them any more, although our local paper still carries them. I enjoyed Bloom County back in the day, carrying shades of Doonesbury and Pogo. I never much liked Bill, though.

Here’s hoping for an equally fun Saturday. HINTHINT!

- Colum


  1. What a terrific puzzle! (No surprise, but still...) The cluing is fantastic. I struggled a bit in the NE corner, sure 10 D was WELL, WHY NOT, which gave me ELAN instead o' BRIO...and then I kept trying to visualize something that would remove a *dog* for 9 D instead of an AD (probably because I'm in advertising). A big smile from me when the pieces finally came together!

  2. 12:06
    I'd not heard of EEKAMOUSE either, or for that matter STONEHENGE, but neither of them slowed me down at all thanks to the crosses. Pretty bold cluing for LSD, but I wrote it right in regardless. I agree that RINGBEARER had a great clue, too, and quite enjoyed CARRIESATORCH. Lots of great stuff in here. I liked BILLTHECAT back in the day, and miss the strip in general. I still enjoy the Sunday comics page that is included with the Worcester Telegram (although I think it's called "Diversions" now, but maybe they switched back to "Comics"). I think that it usually has six pages of comics and a couple of pages of ads. Horace's father likes to discuss the current story arcs with me when we visit.

  3. 13:10
    Agreed all around. Another lovely puzzle from Ms. Weintraub.