Saturday, February 6, 2021

Saturday, February 6, 2021, Kameron Austin Collins

A themeless Saturday by Mr. Collins closes out "African-American Constructors Week" at the NYTX this year. With any luck, such a week will not be necessary in the future thanks to a greater diversity in the pool of constructors, but for now, it is good to raise awareness. And speaking of raising awareness, it almost seemed like Mr. Collins was hinting at another week focussed on another underrepresented constructor group - women. The top of the grid has the side-by-side STEPHANIE and HELGA right above HERSTORIES (Chronicles from a feminist perspective) and ERA (Long-proposed constitutional inits.). That last is a nice pairing with yesterday's H.R. 40, neither of which seems likely to be fully acted upon. Sigh.

Nez Pierce (or Nimiipuu) of IDAHO

I thought a few of the clues went a bit too far today, but maybe I'm just INNEEDOF a little education. Take "A real cinematic tour de force?" (STARWARS) for example. What's the joke here? Is it a pun on "tour de force" and "the Force" used in the movies? If so, it didn't really work for me. And "Nice pair of boxers?" (PECS) - I get it, the pectoral muscles on boxers are well-developed, but no one would ever say a boxer had "a nice pair," would they? It also brings up an uncomfortable association, squeezed in between the princess and the failed amendment. But I'll leave that.

On the other hand, I did let out a laugh when I finally got HOTWIRING (Getting started the wrong way?), and I thought "Big scoop" was cute for SHOVEL. Also cute was "More venerated ... or ventilated? (HOLIER). And my favorite might have been "Government program?" for THEWESTWING. Very nice. 

So a bit of a mixed bag, but still a nice tough Saturday. 

- Horace


  1. Wow, this one was a super-pleasurable solve for me! The fun clues made me laugh...actually I enjoyed all the clues (except maybe for PECS, and that's because I didn't understand it...I still don't, despite Horace's explanation, but that's my problem. Anyway, it was easy to fill in.) BORSCHT BELT and HERSTORIES were pretty much gimmes. The only thing that slowed be down was HIND FOOT. I tried HIND LEGS at first, then HIND FEET...NERD CORE saved me!

  2. Oh, come on, Horace. The clue for STARWARS is excellent. But the boxers one definitely is a miss for me as well. Fun puzzle, solved by Cece, Hope, and I at the kitchen counter.

  3. This was a tough one for me. Actually, I filled most of it in by the time I passed the 20 minute mark, but the NE slowed me. I didn't know of this HELGA Hufflepuff, I wasn't understanding the STARWARS clue, and I'd never heard of the BORSCHTBELT (although I had all of the crosses save for HOTWIRING and ENGELS, so I was able to fill it in OK). My final letter at 42:14 was the "W" of HOTWIRING, which gave me STARWARS (when I finally understood the clue). Nice, enjoyable Saturday, but I really had to BEPATIENT with it.