Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday, November 22, 2020, Alex Eaton-Salners


Hey all! Glad to be back blogging with you. It's been a strange couple of weeks in the country and very very busy in my life, so I'm looking forward to the upcoming Holiday break. I won't be traveling with family as previously planned, so we're celebrating Thanksgiving with just the immediate family in Albany. It will be delightful, I'm sure.

Meanwhile, what a lovely Sunday puzzle to return to. The theme is particularly clever, in my book. Mr. Eaton-Salners has found two phrases which have within them the same number spelled out. He has then replaced those letters with different numbers spelled out, crossing, and which when added together, sum to the original number. Got it? Yes, it's true, explaining these themes is so much more complicated than simply figuring them out during the solve.

As an example, "[ten]ded bar" crosses "s[ten]opool." Ten equals nine plus one. So we get NINEDEDBAR crossing SONEOPOOL. I did figure it out with this first pair, which made the rest of the theme solving a little less exciting. Especially since the next three pairs used the same numbers crossing (one, two, and four).

But then I got to the last pair. And this one was simply perfect. I had gathered that the number being replaced would be seven. And it was four letters crossing three, so I thought for sure it would in fact be four and three, which sum to seven. Only they don't share a letter. And then I saw it: zero crossing seven! Leaving 77D: Journalists might be invited to it (PRESSEVENT). There was no replacing at all. Very witty.

The white rose of YORK

Other than the wonderful theme, there was a ton of excellent clues. Here are some choice selections:

65A: Wanders around the head of a line, briefly? (TSA) - we've had that particular pun before, but I still love it.

21A: Crew's control? (OARS) - cute.

75A: It has issues with celebrities (PEOPLE) - lovely non-QMC.

55D: Set in a man cave (HDTV) - "set" as a noun, not a verb.

101: It takes a bow (ARROW) - it does indeed.

Beyond those, I liked INTHERAW, WAHWAH, and UNITARDS. Fun stuff today. Looking forward to the rest of the week!

- Colum


  1. 24:06
    I really enjoyed this one, too, especially the first and last themers since they were different numbers crossing. BREAKZERO for BREAK[SEVEN] is fantastic, as is, as Colum mentions, the no-substitution down. DAYSOTWOLIVES almost looks like a martini-soaked allusion to this solver. I figured out the theme fairly early on, so the solve went pretty fast for a Sunday. I'd have figured it out even faster had I read the title of the puzzle. I really must start doing that. I wonder how FTROOP would hold up. I seem to remember that I thought it was a real HOOT back in the day.

  2. I loved it, too. Those "plus signs" in the grid were icing on the cake. Great fun!