Friday, May 21, 2021

Friday, May 21, 2021, Sam Ezersky

This was a nice open Friday grid than ran pretty quickly for me. For 1-Across "Schooner feature," I figured MAST was too easy for a Friday, and since I didn't immediately know any of the Downs in that quadrant, it was quite a while before it did go in. I should have known ARALSEA (Victim of a 20th-century environmental tragedy), because there was one week about a year ago where I included a photo of its shrinkage at least two or three days in a row with my reviews. SCRAPPY (Small but full of fight) is a great entry, and although I had an early hunch that "bars" in "Some bars returned to again and again?" was musical, I was thinking "earworm," not THEMES

I often think it would be nice if I could be slightly more ASCETIC. Although "slightly ascetic" is probably an oxymoron. I guess what I really want is slightly more self-control. But let's not dwell on that. 

No self-control needed when faced with ONEEGG, a plate of UNAGIROLL, or a multi-course ITALIANMEAL - eat it all. :) I'll pass on the PEPSICOLA, though. Even back when I was a soda-drinker, I would rather have had Coke, Root Beer, 7-Up, Dr. Pepper, or even orange soda before I'd open a Pepsi.

I don't recognize WORSETOCOME (Prognosis that a problem has only just begun) as anything I've ever heard anyone SAY. And SUABLE (Fit to be tried) is a bit loose. BEARDCOMBS is gross.

On a happier note, the NE corner had two G&S reminders - POOHBAH, obviously, from The Mikado, and BERTHS makes one think of H.M.S. Pinafore ("True, I lack birth." "You've a berth on board this very ship!"). :)

One more puzzle in The Turn - and as Huygens says, Tomorrow better be tight! :)

- Horace

p.s. I am sorry to say that I missed two very nice features of this puzzle - a mini theme in the central answers "the MAN, the MYTH, the LEGEND," and I didn't fully grasp the beauty of "Peer of Ibsen" (GYNT). Ibsen wrote "Peer GYNT." Very nice, Mr. Ezersky.


  1. This ran around double the time of last Friday for me, but was still a respectable 15:02. I DAREd to write MAST in right away, which worked out. However, I tried mEGaSET where LEGOSET belongs, and leaSTHIGH where WAISTHIGH belongs, leading to some ever-so-slight trouble with ITALIANMEAL, but that all came together in short order. I was once a MARATHONER back a number of years ago, but was never a STRONGMAN. Agree that BEARDCOMBS is gross. Not a fan of the facial hair. ELEGIZE is excellent, as is the appearance of MTDOOM. WORSETOCOME seems fine to me.

  2. I was afraid to enter MAST at first, fearing a trap.... Was bogged down by putting in CHORUS not THEMES and GUILTY not SUABLE. Oh and, stupidly, EREBUS instead of MTDOOM. But the ship righted itself and came in at 10:30.

  3. Raising hand for also hesitating to put the obvious MAST in as the [Schooner feature] convinced it was a trap and sure it had to be beer or ales or something like that. Loved the clue for GYNT...and for some odd reason, the entry WHELPS and its clue charmed me. I like BEARDS but never heard of a BEARD COMB. Good Friday, though -- thanks for pointing out the mini-theme, Horace!