Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Tuesday, February 2, 2021, Adesina O. Koiki

Happy Groundhog Day. I can never remember if it is good or bad to have a cloudy day, but it's not important that anyone remember, because it just doesn't matter. How did this whole ridiculous thing start, anyway? Well, I'll tell you - it was my Kraut ancestors who, when they came to America (as the Pennsylvania Dutch) changed the badger of Candlemas Day into the groundhog of Groundhog Day. 

Asparagus SPEAR

And another thing - the whole "six more weeks of winter" or "spring is right around the corner" thing is preposterous. Think about it - six weeks from today is mid-march, or, right around the vernal equinox. When have you ever known spring to start much before that? If you live in Massachusetts, the answer is never. 

On the bright side, we did get a pretty good movie out of it - one that actually inspired me to take up piano late in life. I spent about five years seriously working on piano playing and got to a pretty decent level before turning away to other pursuits. Which makes me wonder how long this blog has left... My modus operandi throughout my life has tended toward "fad-ism" as I'll call it ... but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's instead live in the present, and discuss today's crossword. 

HATTON (____ Garden, London district known for diamond trading) was a tough start. I guessed "Covent," because it fit, and then tried to make it work with Sea "cow" (HAG) (enemy of Popeye), but both quickly unravelled. 

I was amused by the side-by-side AIRLINES and TRAINSET in that same quadrant, but on the other side, I was very unhappy to learn of BACNE (Skin problem portmanteau). Can we all agree to make that a one-time entry? OKTHEN.

Other not-really-Tuesday-ready material included STANNIC (Containing Tin), KSTATE (The Wildcats of the N.C.A.A., informally), ESTES (____ Park, Colo.) (although, to be fair, this is pretty standard crosswordese), Riddle-me-REE, and the names Jeanette LEE and ANDREA Mitchell. 

The theme, however, was solid. Or soft. Or somewhere in the middle ... depending on whether we're talking about hard court, grass court, or clay court tennis. 

A little sports-heavy, and a little obscure in places, but as they say, "Tuesdays gonna Tuez."

- Horace


  1. That's what they say? And what's with the disparaging nickname for your people? Also, I, too, tried Covent up there, but the Sea HAG fixed me right up. Well, it made me take out Covent anyway, but I still needed all of the crosses for HATTON, which I'd never heard of. HOSERS was funny. And I tried ATad where ATOM goes, which slowed me down a bit, but even with all of the proper names and other somewhat obscure entries, I still finished one second under seven. I'm not a huge fan of CLAYMATION, but take it when necessary. Nice RIOTS/SLAY pairing.

    1. Well, they say it over at our sister blog, Diary of a Crossword Fiend. And it's disparaging? I thought it was a term of endearment!

  2. All the same things happened to me as well. I should have known that Covent Garden was wrong, because who ever heard of that place being associated with diamond trading? Opera, flowers, Eliza Doolittle, and that's about it as far as I know. Definitely played a little hard to begin with, but it balanced out by the end.

  3. "riddle me dee" with a "d", has a large number of occurrences on the web. Just sayin'

    And the day between the winter solstice and the spring equinox is indeed Candlemas or Groundhog Day, but can also be Imbolc. So many variations in different places, times, subgroups, etc.

    1. Interesting, Jim. I didn't know that Candlemas was the day between the solstice and the equinox. And if other cultures use other animals in their prognostication, I don't know about that either. I was only talking about the now famous ceremonial animal viewing in Gobblers Knob, PA. Where, btw, Mr. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday, predicting "six more weeks" of winter. Thank god for oracles.