Monday, April 5, 2021

Monday, April 5, 2021, Zhouqin Burnikel

I really like the way this theme looks when it is highlighted in color on my screen. The eight, nine, and ten letter entries appear all over the place, in both directions, some intersecting, some not. And the revealer, TAKETHAT, served double-duty, for me anyway, as I could almost hear Ms. Burnikel's satisfaction in having served up a harder-than-normal Monday NYTX. 


It started out easy enough - almost too easy - with DOG (Animal that barks) and OAK (Bourbon barrel material), but off the A in OAK was "Cockpit reading," and Altitude fit in there beautifully. That was the start of my problems. I also guessed wrong on "Construction area, e.g." where I tried zonE instead of SITE, I entered ACidIC instead of ACETIC for "Like vinegar." IPASS makes more sense for "No bid from me," but still I first tried Ifold. AWMAN!

Eventually, though, I was able to PUSH through, and by the time I got to 70-Across, "Ingredient in a Denver omelet" I had enough crosses to avoid guessing egg instead of HAM. Phew!

I didn't know ULTA (____ Beauty (Sephora competitor), but that's not too surprising, given that I'm a middle-aged man. But that SW corner, with its PSST, ULTA, OHARE, TATER, and ZER was the roughest part by far. The rest was relatively clean, and included such nice entries as MALARKEY, LOITER, CRAVE, DERIDED, and HEIST

I love the theme and especially the theme placement, and I also enjoyed the slightly more-challenging-than-normal-at-least-for-me Monday. How'd you find it?

- Horace


  1. Perhaps this didn't happen to anyone else, but the revealer completely didn't reveal for me. I wanted to remove the letters T-H-A-T, or something of that sort. And when I read on the official blog how it was supposed to work, maybe I buy it if the revealer clue had been worded differently. But even then the need to add "a" doesn't make sense. And "take a cut" sure someone can get a share and that is called taking a cut but maybe it wants some context? Or maybe by now I've already decided to not get it and I'm grasping for reasons?

  2. I guess I don't get what the theme means, but I found this to be average Monday level with a 5:27 solve. I spent some time in LOCALDIVEs in my younger days, but have no CRAVEing to do so now. I won't mention ACIDTRIPs, none of which caused me to go get a POODLECUT, or a CREW cut for that matter, or to cause any trouble by LOITERing around MAIN, INCITEing the CHIEF of police to take note.

  3. For the record, the theme is things that you can "take," that are found at the ends of 16A, 34A, 44A, 29D, and 9D. Take a trip, take a cut, take a dive, take a seat, and take a hit.