Saturday, April 10, 2021

Saturday, April 10, 2021, Evans Clinchy

I like the look of the grid today. It's nice and open, with stacked spanners on the top and bottom, and a pleasing diagonality. 

The top went fairly quickly, largely thanks to ESQ (Abbr. on a law firm's letterhead). Before that, I had put in buckLE for "Prepare to ride, with 'up'" (SADDLE), and maxim for "'Opposites attract,' for one" (ADAGE), but the Q gave me (something)ACQUAINTANCE, and soon the earlier mistakes were corrected. 

"Cellular data plan?" was a cute clue for DNA, it was interesting to learn that "Vegetable whose name is Japanese for 'big root'" referred to DAIKON (Apt!), and LICORICE (What fennel tastes like) was a surprisingly long Saturday gimme.

In the center things got more tricky for me. ETUDES (Chopin composed three collections of them) was easy for one who grew up hearing his father play many of them on the upright in the living room, but (and perhaps this is related, in a way, to having listened to Chopin ETUDES being played at home as a child) I never saw "Dumb and Dumber," so ASPEN took a lot of crosses. Also, the Oslo Accords were a long time ago, so RABIN took both crosses and memory digging.

So anyway, I finally got down to the bottom - oh wait, before I leave the middle, I just want to say that "It worked with a prompt" was a brilliant clue for MSDOS. Took me forever to get it, but I loved it when I did. Nice one.

I ended up in the SE, where the CLOGS clue had me going straight to Google to see the actual definition of the footwear. The second definition in Merriam-Webster is "a shoe, sandal, or overshoe having a thick typically wooden sole." So, ok, it's technically correct, but before today I would not have included sandals into my image library for "clog" (and neither does Google). But, as we all know, it's Saturday, and I guess if I didn't learn something on Saturday it would be a little disappointing, right?

In the end, this was a solid puzzle. The 15s were all fine, and there wasn't anything really, to complain about. DECOCT (Boil down) isn't heard much, and "Metà di sei" for TRE is straight-up Italian, but again, it's Saturday, and that's the kind of thing we are all looking for, expect, and, quite frankly, would be a little disappointed without.

- Horace


  1. Tough one. I FWTEd in 37:53. The TYRA/DECOCT/TACET crosses had me completely stumped. I guessed kYRA, but really had no guess whatsoever for DE_OCT or kA_ET, even though I play music regularly. I suppose I should learn the actual names for the symbols that appear on sheet music. At least I know what to do when I see them. Of course, I probably don't ever see a TACET, per se, but do see shorter rests. Anyway, this is what I'd expect on a Saturday, so it's fine. Loved all of the fifteens. I suppose I'd rank them thus: DEADASADOORNAIL, OLDACQUAINTANCE, OCTOBERSURPRISE, MEATANDPOTATOES.

  2. Bravo, puzzle! Smooth -- SILKY, really -- with tremendous entries and clues. I think my favorite is [Cook's handle, perhaps] for CAP'N.

  3. Fun Saturday! I liked all the 15-letter answers, and finished with one typo. Hate when that happens.