Friday, January 1, 2021

Friday, January 1, 2021, Milo Beckman

It's the first day of the new year, and I'm still writing 2020 on my reviews. Kidding, of course. :) I welcome the somewhat-arbitrary-but-still-PSYCHOACTIVE change symbolized by the turn of the calendar year, especially this one. Am I right? 
Playing the part of "out with the old" we have NYE ("12/31") in one corner, and for in with the new, we have the numbers 2021 smack dab in the middle of the puzzle. The number grouping itself is not clued, as Horace pointed out. Instead, four answers contribute numerals to form the celebratory block. Although, another feature of the advance of the years reminds me that FOREVER21, I am definitely not. I also appreciated SOLASTYEAR. I hope to apply that term to many aspects of 2020.

Overall, I enjoyed the puzzle and, for a Friday, solved it pretty quickly. My first time through, though, I thought I was going to have trouble, but as it happened, I knew a few answers in key areas including QUEEREYE, DREVIL, AUDEN, TWOSTEP, and then I POLEDANCED my way through the rest of the puzzle to a successful solve.  

Some highlights include UNPERSON and EDITSOUT, a nice, if troubling pair in the northeast. ASTUTE and OBTUSE are also nice. ERRS for "Chokes" took me a minute, but I appreciated the clue once I figured it out. Alternatively, ARESO for "It's true" seemed less apt. 

There were some fun QMC's to REVEL in. "Complete a lap?" (SIT) was funny. "TV sets?" (SEASONS) was another good one, as were "Do one's part?" (ACT) and "Special gift, for short" (ESP). But my favorite C/AP today was the non-QMC "More than most" (ALL) - ha! 

It seems, dear Readers, like a good moment to pause and appreciate the PAGEANT of word play that puzzle constructors create and that provide us with so much entertainment, especially during the rather bleak preceding 366. IFORONE hope 2021 is at least 20PERCENT better than 2020. Happy New Year everyone!



  1. Happy New Year!

    What a blast! The entries are terrific, the clues sing...and, never dreaming there'd be anything but letters in the puzzle, I was stonewalled in the center...even *knowing* that [A fifth] is "20" PERCENT and that an [Inescapable bind] was a CATCH-22 -- and I even had the CATCH and PERCENT in place, sheesh! Talk about an AHA moment. Great way to start the year!

  2. 18:37
    I just want to point out that the preceding was a 366. Also, to me, AUDEN is best known for "Minus times minus is plus / The reason for this we need not discuss." He refers to an elegant bit of abstract algebra that explains why this is, and to its relative inaccessibility to those who are unfortunately not math majors. I'd also like to point out that in Across Lite, the numbers don't work for some reason. I knew I'd gotten everything correct, so I manually stopped the clock and asked the program to "Reveal" all, and it came up with TZTO instead of 2021, so we had CATCHTT and ZOALUMS, TZPERCENT and FOREVERTO, which I knew were all wrong. Maybe someone should DEBUG the program, but there may not be much call for it since I'm probably the only person in the country that uses it. I was happy to see another GOT reference in the SW (NED) that I was able to get right away. I didn't love OATMEALS, although I do enjoy an oatmeal when I have it, which isn't often. On the other hand, I almost always enjoy a HOTSAUCE with my meals since it's quite enjoyable and good for the liver, I'm told.

    1. Thanks for the day count correction, Huygens. No wonder 2020 seemed so long. :) I updated the review.