Saturday, December 19, 2020

Sunday, December 20, 2020, Randolph Ross


What a fun puzzle to have just before CHRISTMAS. So many toys! All strewn about the big day sitting smack dab in the middle. Very nice.

OPAH (Moonfish)
What an odd fish. Looks like he might be saying IMSOMAD!


We had several of these toys in the house while I was growing up. My sister had at least one BARBIEDOLL, I had, and loved, and still love, the ETCHASKETCH. There were several eggs of SILLYPUDDY, and we had a PLAYDOH press that could extrude shaped strands of the stuff. There was an old MRPOTATOHEAD somewhere, and we played CANDYLAND and TWISTER many times. Things like TICKLEMEELMO, COZYCOUPE, TAMAGOTCHI, and even RUBIKSCUBE came out after our big toy-buying days. That leaves only CHATTYCATHY unmentioned. She came out and disappeared too early. My sister had another doll that spoke, and one with hair that could be pulled out and then dialed back into her head, and my brothers had trolls, for some reason. We also had a Pet Rock that was kept in a small cage, complete with straw for it to bed on. I'm a little surprised that didn't make the cut.

So anyway, a fun trip down memory lane for this solver. All that fun and only a few concessions, the worst of which was IODATE (A halogen-containing salt). (APEDOM was too funny to be bad.)

I finished today in the NE, where I had entered "ess" instead of ARC for "Curve," and I had no idea what Indiana governor Holcomb's first name was. I stared at ___DATE (Appointment that may be hard to change) (hot date? law date?) for a long time without success ... Finally, I did what has to be done when things just won't work out - I took everything out and started again with just SCI and then NIH, and with those two only I saw SANS (Minus) (kept trying "lesS," which also didn't help), and the rest fell soon after.

Fun theme, and lots of fun trivia about the toys. I recently read that bit about Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor playing TWISTER - maybe in Games Magazine. (Or, World of Games, as I think it is now called.) Add to that some fun clues in the fill - "They can elevate art" (EASELS), "Suffix suggested by the wiggling of one's hand" (ISH), and "Calf-eteria?" (LEA), for example - and you've got a good Sunday puzzle.

Thumbs up!

- Horace


  1. Whee! Love, love, love this one! I had a CHATTY CATHY and loved her. Also SILLY PUTTY which can do so many things, like bounce, and pick up images from the comics, and S T R E T C H and SNAP! CANDY LAND I've played as an (ahem) "adult" and yes, yes, ETCH-A-SKETCH! I had a TRESSY doll -- I'll bet she's what your sister had. Her hair pulled out and pushed back in so you could have fun fussing with it. "Short. Long. Or In-Between. Tressy's Hair Makes Her a Queen!" (That's how the commercial went.) And MR. POTATO HEAD!

    (Did I mention that I enjoyed this puzzle?) :-)

  2. 33:03 (FWOE)
    I had aTL and thought that BUaS looked OK up there where BUSS belongs. Ah, well. I had an ETCHASKETCH, but as I've mentioned, I don't see much point in it. I also had TWISTER, MRPOTATOHEAD, SILLYPUTTY, a RUBIKSCUBE and PLAYDOH (along with the press that Horace mentions). I currently own a "ROSSPEROT for President" lawn sign which I hang in my garage. It originally belonged to my maternal grandmother. I enjoyed the inclusion of BROCAS area in the fill, reminding me of Carl Sagan's book "Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science," which I read a couple of times in my teens; I'd probably enjoy it even more now. Definitely a fun Sunday, and it took me just the right amount of time to solve.