Thursday, December 10, 2020

Thursday, December 10, 2020, Jack Murtagh


Want to hear a joke about potassium? K. Want to hear one about sodium? Na. 

Today's theme features the 151-year old Periodic Table. It seemed to me that the clearest way to explicate the science-based theme was with equations. Thus:

Clue = Element symbol + word + ? 

Answer = [Element name represented by symbol spelled out] + synonym for additional word = common item or adjective. 

Example: 43A: Aground? Ag is the symbol for silver and 'bullet' is a synonym for a round QED: the answer is SILVERBULLET

My favorite was OXYGENSUPPLY for Oration? - ha! It reminds me of the old ads for Ken-L Ration. Anybody remember those?

It took me rather too long to solve the equation, but I finally figured it out with IRONMAN (Female?) when I had IRO_MAN. :) 

Elsewhere in the puzzle, there was a regular STEMpede of science-y fill:
Doctor's order (SAYAH)
What's anything but neutral? (ION)
Dermatologist's concern (CYST)
Injection units for short (CCS)
And, best of all, "A constant celebration?" (PIDAY) Genius. 


There were good C/AP's in other disciplines including "Were present?" (ARE), "Lacking bite" (TOOTHLESS), "Colonial workers, maybe" (ANTS), "It may be glossed over" (LIP), and everybody's favorite, "Frequent filers" (CPAS). 

I had some trouble in the southwest. I got the CARBON for the C in "Cold?" at 57A, but I lead myself astray trying to fit AgED or AgEr at the end for 'old', completely overlooking the D. It was a NOgO until I thought of HATER for "Curmudgeonly sort." Then, BOOMt!



  1. sometimes I feel so cold that it is almost like the cold is originating inside me instead of from the outside and I will never get warm. I thought this crossword was a pain in the ass to be honest

  2. 17:06
    Wow, great review from Frannie, and harsh critique from Anonymous! I suppose, though, if one doesn't grok the theme quickly, the attempted solve could cause quite a bit of angst. I, luckily, was ready for such a theme as we'd seen similar offerings in the past. This was a little different, however, in a good way. My least favorite of the theme answers was CARBONDATED, because if something can be CARBONDATED, it isn't very old, geologically speaking. I refuse to look things up on Google, but I seem to remember that things can't be much older than 100,000 years or so (it could be tens of thousands) in order to be accurately dated using that method. So I didn't think that the clue 57A Cold? quite cut the mustard. The others were great, though, and I have to agree with Frannie on OXYGENSUPPLY as perhaps the best of the bunch. Yes, I remember the Ken-L Ration commercials. I'd love to do away with answers like CYST, but I suppose they're necessary on occasion. Funny that LETS and NOT abut.

  3. Cute puzzle -- I enjoyed it. And I, too, remember the Ken-L Ration ads, as in: "My dog's better than your dog!"