Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Nathan Hasegawa

Although far from an insomniac myself, I am up early today. Had I had looked at the puzzle before getting out of bed, I might have tried taking its theme, COUNT SHEEP, to heart for a little extra shuteye. I didn't think about the theme as I solved the puzzle - I sheepishly admit that I didn't even notice the abundance of W's - but when I finished the puzzle, I went back to hunt down the 12 sheep referred to in the revealer clue and they jumped right out at me. I found six EWEs penned up in answers like SEWER, the evocative BONEWEARY, and the unsettling RENEWER - an answer I shied away from at until I understood it was necessary for the theme. As a librarian, I enjoyed the reference to the DEWEY Decimal System, but I occasionally lament its status in the world: if you tell someone you're a librarian, chances are you're going to hear about it - hazard of the profession, I guess. :) In addition to the EWEs, there are four RAMS - two side by side in TRAMPOLINE and RAMPART - two LAMBs, and a Dolores - though that of course was never published


The clue "Trims" for ADORNS had that cl'ambiguity I enjoy, as did "Send" for ELATE, although that one I actually guessed immediately because it is relatively common in puzzles. The clue "One followed by nothing?" for TEN has a nice twist. The silliness of "Hues that rhyme with 'hues'" (ECRUS) made me laugh. I was also amused by "Byes" - I guess that's one way to get TATAS into a puzzle in today's world. :) Fill-wise, I enjoyed ONAWHIM, AWRY, and FLAMBOYANT.

Besides RENEWER mentioned above, the only other answer that made me say eeuw was HALT where I expected the more familiar "Hark" as a precedent to "Who goes there?" Fortunately, the across clue "Director Kazan" (ELIA) got me over that hurdle. Other than that, the solve was shear entertainment. 



  1. Oddly enough, I couldn't sleep last night and picked up this puzzle. When I got to the revealer I was amused at how apropos it was. And I guess I was dimly aware of Ws all over but didn't really think about it until it came time to go hunting for EWEs (because you know those will be there, these three letters working as crosswordese in a larger answer as well as a three letter word). And then I figured there probably were some RAMs as well and the puzzle did not disappoint.

    This was a Finished With One Error on ELIe/ALBe, the former of which I feel I should know (albeit only from crosswords), and the latter of which is at least somewhat guessable based on "which sequence of letters is more likely".

    Oh and Today I Learned there's an observatory on Mauna Loa, in addition to ita more famous neighbor on Mauna Kea. Apparently they observe different things.

  2. Oh my goodness -- I came here to brag about finding all the sheep but am too busy laughing out loud over Jim Kingdon's post -- how fitting! :-)

    Like Frannie, I also enjoyed FLAMBOYANT, ON A WHIM and the clues for TEN and ECRUS. Frannie, isn't HALT! WHO GOES THERE? what a sentry's supposed to say?

  3. I agree with Kelly Clark: it's definitely HALT. But I agree with Frannie on RENEWER, which, had it not been part of the theme, would have been an awful answer. Jessica ALBA is thankfully well known to me, for obvious reasons. I've been to the peak of Mauna Kea and drove around to the thirteen observatories there, visiting the Twin Kecks (the others had varying rules for visits, none of which applied to us). We did not, however, visit the Mauna LOA observatory, although we knew it was there and it was squarely on our List of Opportunities while on the Big Island. Anyway, decent theme, even though I didn't know what it was, or even think of it, until the revealer. 8:20