Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sunday, January 17, 2021, Tracy Gray and Tom Pepper


For this puzzle, the note about a slash running from the top left of the circled squares to the bottom right is necessary for the entries to make sense. Otherwise, one might look at the [NNOO] entry in 13-Down "Classic dorm room meal" (RAME[NNOO]DLES) and try to fit it into CART[nnoo]ETWORK in the same way. But with the slash in place, it's possible to alter which pair of double letters is used first, and this allows for the correct version - CART[OONN]ETWORK. Got it? Good.


The double-double letters appear in several more entries, some better than others. OVERHEA[DDOO]R is the weakest, but it crosses BL[OODD]RIVE, and it's hard to argue with that. I did not know GLORI[AALL]RED before this, but I feel I should have. 

Overall, I guess the theme is ok. It's not my favorite, but maybe only because the online experience was not the same as it would have been in print.

In non-theme, my favorite entry was BAAED (Complained about getting fleeced?). Absurd, but hilarious. And speaking of absurd and hilarious, EUGENIE reminded me of "The Windsors," a parody tv series with some very funny moments.

I was slowed down in the NE by 15D: Deep-toned cousin of an English horn. When I saw that it started with "BASS___" I really tried hard to make "bassoon" work, but no, they wanted BASSOBOE.

SOAP (Dove bar, e.g.) was nicely disguised by the ice-creamy clue, but it reminds me that last year a New Yorker article and a piece on Slate provided evidence that would challenge this clue. Dove itself calls its product a "beauty bar," and not a soap. Out here in the real world, I don't think there are many people who would complain about the clue, but what is a reviewer's job but to point out such little oddities?

Overall it was fine. Frannie takes over tomorrow, and I'll see you again in a few weeks. Happy puzzling.

- Horace


  1. I'm a fan of this type of puzzle, but I did FWOE on it with the CARIB/MIOTIC cross, where I'd entered an "a" with the down and didn't look too closely at its cross. Interesting that so many of this type of example are out there to make a puzzle work. I guess I'd come down on the side of the DAYTIM[EEMM]YS/SWI[MMEE]TS cross as my favorite since it reminds me of the high school activity of ET59's offspring. Sue and I just mentioned the VOLGA while watching the final episode of "The Queen's Gambit" (although we weren't sure whether it was that river that was featured in a shot or two, and I haven't yet looked at a map of its course). This went pretty fast for a Sunday (21:27), which is my only complaint. Most people know I'd rather be in the 30-35 minute range on a Sunday.

  2. Enjoyed this one a lot! My toughest time was the OVERHEAD DOOR/BLOOD DRIVE cross, probably because I didn't know what an overhead door is. Seemed harder to me than most Sundays -- aside from the theme, I mean, which was pretty easy to get. The clues seemed tougher. But it was fun!

    1. I'm with you, Kelly, it played a little tougher than usual for me, too.

    2. But have you heard of an overhead door?

  3. I have now. From the puzzle. But not before. When I lived in Swampscott, we had a garage. The door wasn't really "overhead" until I opened it. Then it sorta slid up into some secret compartment. :-)