Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, Adrian Johnson

Back when I was frequenting video arcades, Donkey Kong was not one of my "go to" games. I liked Asteroids, Berserk, and the occasional Qbert or Space Invaders thrown in for good measure. Sometimes I'd play a game just because it was open. Jeez, that seems like a lifetime ago. Anyway, even with actual arcade experience, this theme did nothing for me. Was Bowser the ape that threw the barrels? That's the only one of the four that I have any vague notion of. You might expect me to say TEACHME, but I just don't care enough these days about video games. Sorry.


So let's look elsewhere. I enjoyed the POET/POE pairing, and it was nice to see LOUREED spelled out in full. JINGOISM, while not really a great activity, is an interesting word to find in the grid. 

I'm not familiar with the SEAGRAPE (Native Caribbean plant whose fruit grows in clusters), and although I've heard of the ROOIBOS (South African plant whose leaves are used for a popular herbal tea), I cannot picture it growing. 

"Looks down" seemed a bit oblique for MOPES, but I guess it kind of works. On the other hand, "What makes God good" (ANO) was a fun one. 

TETRIS (Game where everything falls into place) could, I guess, be bonus fill. I played that game a lot when it first came out. But that was at home, not in an arcade. 

Overall, I don't have a lot to say about this one, and if I learned anything from Kurt Vonnegut, it was to not write if you had nothing to say. But I will, before I go, congratulate Mr. Johnson on his NYTX debut. I'm sure this puzzle will delight a lot of people, many younger and hipper than me, and there's nothing wrong with that.

- Horace


  1. The game is MARIOBROS (Mario Brothers), not Donkey Kong, right? Although Wikipedia says the former was a spinoff of the latter, I'm not sure they had any characters in common other than Mario. Not that I really know Mario Bros or recognized any of TOAD, PEACH, BOWSER, or DAISY.

    Most amusing part of my solve? I filled in BYANOSE, a while later erased the last four letters ("but it could be BYAhair"), and only later had enough crosses to put back BYANOSE.

  2. Funnily enough, the ape that threw the barrels was named Donkey Kong. I know of these characters from Mario Kart, which the girls played a bunch of on the Wii. I was never very good.

  3. I did not know any of these characters, but I've heard of MARIOBROS and Donkey Kong. I also never heard of ROOIBOS, but would be willing to try its tea. I was able to drop HAJJI, correctly spelled, finally, right in off of the clue at 1A. My ignorance of video games, at least this particular one, did not stop me from getting the theme answers, save for MURIELBOWSER (never heard that name). When I visited an arcade, which was rare, I tended toward the same games as Horace, oddly, and the occasional driving/race one where one sat down at the wheel, but those were often more than $0.25 and were, therefore, more of a luxury.