Saturday, November 28, 2020

Saturday, November 28, 2020, Nam Jin Yoon


Today's offering is Mr. Yoon's second puzzle in the NYT, and I think it bodes well for his future in this area. His debut was three months ago, with a grid that looked very similar to this one, with the 6 black squares sets of steps on each side to create the cascading long answers. We liked the first effort quite a lot, but I think this one is better!

Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). 1A: Move to a later date, say (TIMETRAVEL) is such a great clue and answer. I dropped in "reschedule" and immediately took it out when I saw 10D had to be LES. It still took me some time to finish the rest of that corner. I also love 5D: Fabled beneficiary of a nap (TORTOISE). I thought briefly of Rip Van Winkle, only nobody would feel he was better off for his prolonged snooze.

In the middle, I liked FAIRSFAIR, a lovely bit of colloquialism. I smiled at 23D: One of a pair of interrogators (BADCOP). The whole SW corner is marvelous, with PLACEBOS, FROGPRINCE, and CARRELS, which made me think of where I first met Frannie, and through her, Horace. What a lovely way life has of creating opportunities for like-minded people to get to know one another.

The last TSAR, also Queen Elizabeth's 4th cousin once removed

Donna TARTT was a gimme for me, although I never read "The Secret History." I did read "The Goldfinch" and did not love it as much as many other people seem to have. Nor have I seen the movie. 13D: They're on the tip of your tongue (TASTEBUDS) was straightforward because I had many of the crosses in place already.

And let's give a nod and a smile to 55A: One who passes the bar? (TEETOTALER). That's fine cluing.

This is a very smooth grid and solve, and I enjoyed it immensely. What more can you ask for on a Saturday morning?

Enjoy the next two weeks of my infinitely superior co-bloggers, and I'll see you in December!

- Colum


  1. Totally agree on the cluing and smoothness. I almost had to bail, though, not knowing A) Donna TARTT and B) that "Wolverine" was an X-MAN. For the latter, my mind was stuck in Michigan, my home state. Finally the penny dropped with the SMART in SMART MONEY. Fun solve!

  2. 8:52
    Really nice Saturday, if a little on the breezy side.

    I've been listening to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," for the first time ever recently (I've been driving back and forth to Maine every weekend to check on construction progress), and there was an amusing incident where an Irish woman read a story and repeatedly pronounced TORTOISE as "Tor-toys." Happily, the others on the show, when she was finished, seemed to revel in mocking her. Nothing like a little bullying to get you to conform, eh? (He says, having three much older brothers...)

  3. 13:37
    Really, really fast for a Saturday for me. OVERSHARES and PITYPARTY were great, and I'm with Colum on TIMETRAVEL. Like Ms. Clark, though, I don't know of this TARTT person, nor did I know that Wolverine is an XMAN, but I had EXPAT, so dropped the latter in quickly. No slowdowns in this one.