Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thursday, January 21, 2021, Daniel Mauer

Today's revealer, TURNSIGNAL, applies at each of four circle squares, which indicate an intersection of sorts. At each circle square, the Across and Down answers take a right or left - as seen from its starting direction. Two of the theme answers take right turns and two take left turns. It's nicely done that the "unturned" fill still forms valid words or phrases, although they aren't necessarily related words or phrases. I did find it a little odd that there wasn't one, or one more circle square in the southeast corner for additional symmetry, but maybe four theme answer sets are inherently more symmetrical than five, even if each isn't exactly located in its own quadrant. 

Here's one example:
22A: "Cry from a survivor" takes a left at the L to form IMAL[IVE], and with IMALONE as the "straight" fill.
10D: "Satan, with 'the'" also takes a left at the L to form EVIL[ONE], with EVILEYE as the "straight" fill. 

The "straight" answers, in this case, could possibly be construed as related, but I felt that was less the case with the others: 

50A: "Break down chemically" DEGR[ADE]/DEGREES
40D: "Like toreadors, again and again" CHAR[GED]/CHARADE

Elsewhere in the grid, I thought AMOEBOID was a fun one. PURECHANCE is a nice long answer. I can't say ICEE a beautiful parallelism or aptness between the clue "Ill-advised opinions" and its answer, BADTAKES. And the C/AP "'That's true about me, right?'" ARENTI just isn't my SEEN. On the other hand, I was very happy to see a 'real' French possessive SES for once instead of the usual 'atoi.' My favorite clue today was "Like taxis and Julius Caesar, once" (HAILED) - ha!

I was surprised, dear readers, to see in the clue at 29D: "Long fur scarfs" (STOL[ES]).: I thought the plural of scarf was scarves. Have I missed something?

And speaking of missing something, I had no idea MRPEANUT had been killed off. I hope the police are at least pecan into it. Was it some crazy nutter? Whoever did it will do well to confess and get it off their chest. I'm sure there are many who pine for the late top-hatted legume. 



  1. It was an interesting puzzle but I have to say I was a little annoyed that the “unturned” words weren’t part of the clue in some way. So they just hung there. I think we had a similar puzzle not long ago. Something about this is just a bit unsatisfying.

  2. Well, there were eight theme answers, not four, so that's symmetrical. Once I figured the trick out, it still took me a while to finish (35:51) because I had to force myself to see where the words turned *to*. And, to top that off, I FWOEd at the AMOEBOID/AMARO cross! Which is embarrassing since I should have at least gotten the down after filling in a few crosses. I'm not particularly familiar with AMARO, and from the description, it doesn't seem as if it'd be my cup of tea. Odd that ICE and ICEE were in the same grid. I'd heard of the MRPEANUT demise, but never saw the commercial as I rarely view the Super Bowl.