Saturday, May 1, 2021

Saturday, May 1, 2021, Ryan McCarty

Rabbit, Rabbit!

Just look at that thick swath through the center of this one. Five nines and and two eights stepping down like wide stairs, pinned by nines, tens, and elevens. I don't construct puzzles, but it sure looks like an impressive feat.

I guess my favorite of the stairs is probably NUTCASES (Screwballs). It started with one you had to think about "Aid in preventing a soup stain, maybe" (TIECLASP), and ended with a laugh. But the mood changed quickly again with TINHAT (W.W. I headgear). I got that immediately, thanks to the line "... So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun / And they marched me away to the war" from "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" by Eric Bogle. Made more famous by the Pogues. See also: TURK.

But let's not dwell on sad things. Let's look instead at the humor in the misfortunes of others - like OWS (Smart remarks?) and "Where many a drive ends, unfortunately" (WATERHAZARD). Heh. 

ARM (Vaccine target) was both topical and misleading! Nice. And I loved the clue "Break" for DOMESTICATE. And speaking of clues, "Places where things are all tied up?" was funny for MARINAS. It's so true.

There were a few weirdos, like LACTEAL (Milk-producing), GOTEM ("Ha, fell right into my trap!"), and DESEX (Neuter), but overall not too much to PAY for a solid Saturday grid. 

- Horace


  1. 12:56
    I mention that at the top because that must be close to a Saturday record for me, which is nice since it's my birthday today. It could've been a little faster if I hadn't entered eerIe at 1A instead of UPLIT, needing crosses to correct it. I haven't seen ADASTRA yet but will, eventually. I thought the clue for SKY was a little odd, or at least something I haven't heard before, but I'll accept it. And SCOTCHEGG: gross. SPRITZ is a nice word, and a good entry. Never heard of a NEOPET, but since it was a down, I had enough crosses to guess it correctly. I also never heard of the ALAMODOME, but wasn't surprised that was what it was called. Actually, the San Antonio Spurs isn't ringing any bells, either. Baseball, maybe? THEOX should have been clued with John Entwistle.

  2. What a grid! And what fill! I'm in awe. I had AGLOW at 1A which didn't work (since it was wrong). The SE was tough for me, not knowing SCOTCH EGG or NEO PETS. But really, the whole puzzle is so clean and nice. A pleasure to solve. And Happy Birthday to Huygens and all who celebrate!

    1. Thanks Kelly! This puzzle was a great start to the day!

  3. Just catching up. Spent a whole minute chasing down a typo which took my time just north of 14 minutes. D-oh!!!