Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Wednesday, November 4, 2020, Jack Murtagh


I wonder what I'm doing up so early, solving the puzzle and writing the blog post. What could have happened over night that made me lose sleep? I can't think.

Well, we continue to bury our heads in the sand by doing the NYT crossword puzzle. At least here we can count on a few moments of peace and enjoyment.

It must be Wednesday, because the theme is so odd! So, you get a couple of examples of some category, and you're supposed to take the first letter of each of them, which together become a homonym for another word, which when taken with the category, creates a common phrase. Wow, that was hard to explain. An example? Sure! Why not.

See, 54A: Noon, eleven... well, those are two different times. And the first letters are N and E, which sound like "any". Thus, ANYTIME. The best is EMPTYNESTER, which is what I am for the time being. Tune in tomorrow to find out how the wife and I have dealt with it.

Meanwhile, the BEAUTY of this puzzle (outside of the peculiar concept of the theme, which on the whole, I liked) comes in the extras Mr. Murtagh has worked in. BASTILLEDAY is a nice reminder of Europe, that place we Americans can't go right now. And everybody loves a LIBRARYCARD. Do you remember when you first received one, and the worlds it opened up for you? Do kids use libraries for their original purpose any more? I hope so.

PARTYHATS and SPITITOUT are also lovely answers. I liked PAPYRI and 49D: Results of some drivers' mistakes (UTURNS) - much better than the meh answer "uie" or "uey." 

Other nice C/AP's include 13A: Jobs creation (IPAD) - although this has lost some of its surprise now from being used before; 16A: Group whose teens go through rumspringa (AMISH); and 29D: Medium strength? (ESP).

Okay then. Go about your day. We'll all feel better in either a few days or four years.

- Colum


  1. Wow! I found this puzzle amazing -- the funny things? I didn't grok the theme until the very last answer. Spectacular effort, I thought.

  2. 12:39
    I don't usually check for a blog post when Colum's on until the following day due to his usual schedule. This was certainly surprising to see that it was posted at 7:38 AM yesterday! I generally hold to my normal schedule, regardless of what's going on in the world. I didn't know what the theme was until reading the review above, which isn't unusual for me. I filled this in, enjoying the nice cluing and answers, and then went on with my day. After the NYT crossword, I read the Worcester Telegram and solve all of its offered puzzles, so I've got very, very busy mornings. This one was a HOOT, though I didn't know EAZYE or ZESTA, but having gotten all of the crosses save for the letter "Z," it was easy enough. I guess I'll have to go with EASYMONEY as my favorite theme answer, obviously because of the zloty.

  3. Totally didn't get the theme (beyond "the two words in the clue describe the second half of the answer") before coming here. It's not a bad theme but if the definition of "unfair" is "I didn't figure it out", this one was unfair (in the absence of a revealer or the like).

  4. It helps that the crosses were just easy enough to figure the theme answers.