Thursday, November 19, 2020

Thursday, November 19, 2020, Derek J. Angell


Well, this puzzle was certainly in my "Wheel" house, although I admit to being a bit concerned when the third Down answer in the northwest gave me MRVG as the start to 18 Across. I took the G out, even though I was pretty sure IDIG was correct ("Understood, man") because while I could imagine MRV being the start of mister somebody or other, I couldn't make any kind of a case for MRVG. That all changed when I got to 13D and saw CANIBUYAVOWEL ("What you might cry when trying to answer the six starred clues"). In a SNAP, the theme made sense and I was able to complete all the vowel-less theme answers related to America's Game(R): WHeeLoFFoRTuNe. Mr. Angell managed to squeeze in MeRVGRiFFiN, VaNNaWHiTe, and PaTSaJaK, not to mention BanNKRuPT and the six "free" letters supplied to all solvers, RSTLN. When Horace and I were in college, he made me a pin that read, "Can I b_y a vowel?" (see below) because I found it maddening when contestants would buy what I considered to be unnecessary vowels. 

I thought the clue "Turn in a popular game show" (SPIN) was a nice touch. Probably unrelated, but similar in a way, we also have HGTV and BFFS. In something of a contrast we have TIEIN and DIEOUT, both of which are stuffed with vowels.


I liked BLISS for "Ignorance, perhaps" at 1A, as well as both the clue "Chump" and the answer SAP. README ("File accompanying many a download") went right in. Nerd much? :)

I was duped briefly by the clever wording of 13A: "They turn on machines" (COGS), first trying to think of some version of an on/off switch. "Round things?" (BEERS) was also clever, but my favorite was "Shot that's within your reach?" (SELFIE). Also, it was interesting to learn that the UAE has no rivers. Who knew? And last, but not least, I appreciated the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, "No LIE can live forever." So be it.



  1. 10:18
    I really liked this one. And SELFIE had my favorite clue, too. I might have to add that to the list of favorites.

    That pin looks amateurish when it's put on display by itself like that, but I guess it still gets the point across.

  2. 13:21
    I made a mistake that cost me some time when I entered jeopaRdy at 55A and tried a couple of rebus squares to make Mr. Griffin's name work. Once I took my erroneous game show out and got the CANIBUYAVOWEL entry, the puzzle solved itself. I liked the theme, even though it wasn't a rebus and enjoyed the fact that TEXARKANA was included in the fill, as my favorite MST3K episode (or certainly, one of my favorites), "Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues," took place in and around there, or at least it was mentioned in the movie. Nice calls on DIEOUT and TIEIN, Frannie!

  3. 8:53
    I loved this puzzle, and especially 30A: *Group of six given for free on 55-Across (RSTLN), which even here dumped the E. Nicely managed! I wanted ARTwOrKS, and a couple of the crosses had me stuck for a while there because they worked.

  4. I too had ARTwOrKS.

    Back when I was watching WHeeLoFFoRTuNe regularly, it was before they introduced the round in which RSTLNe come in for free, so that one tripped me up.

    Nice puzzle. I liked SLEEPERS partly because not long ago I saw a YouTube video describing the various kinds of sleeper cars in Europe. SELFIE and BEERS were well clued. Yeah, apparently this."find an excuse to cut out some vowels" thing did good things for the fill.