Saturday, May 22, 2021

Saturday, May 22, 2021, Sid Sivakumar and Matthew Stock

An interesting grid shape today and a good tough Saturday puzzle. The top left fell relatively easily, but then I moved around without any real direction, and I somehow went far too long without seeing clues like "Hoth, in 'Star Wars'" (ICEPLANET), and "Late-Triassic flier" (PTEROSAUR). To be fair, though, I wanted PTERanodon, and just left the first five letters in for a while, until I finally read "Special pawn move in chess," (ENPASSANT), which helped clear things up. 

Harold RAMIS
Looks a bit like Colum, actually. Not sure I ever noticed that before. :)

I've never heard BOOBOISIE (Portmanteau coinage for the uneducated and uncultured) before, but it's kind of amusing. And I don't use the term DONK to mean "Hit on the head, in slang." I put bONK in there and ended up with a FWOE, because, I guess, I didn't check "Touches, e.g." (IPODS). Do they still make the iPod Touch?

I have to tell you, I got my second shot yesterday (Moderna), and it packed a punch. I woke up today with sore muscles and a headache. No cold symptoms, per se, and nothing too SEVERE, but an overall malaise that was really quite unpleasant. Anyway, I did the puzzle at about 7:00, then lay down on the couch and fell back to sleep for an hour or two. I'm already starting to feel better, and I'm very happy to know that in two weeks my life can start to get more normal, but I tell you all this because I feel like I've got nothing today. Still, the show must go on.

So much I didn't know today. GENERATIONALPHA (Ones born beginning in the early 2010s), LIMAPERU (The world's largest desert capital, after Cairo, Egypt) (who knew? I think "South America" and I think "rain forest," not "desert"), ODETS ("Golden Boy" playwright), LEONES (Currency units in West Africa), APOLAR (Electrically balanced, in chemistry) (maybe in 10th grade...), LAOS (So-called "Land of a Million Elephants") (still, I wonder?), and TRINI (Certain Caribbean, informally). 

Lots of good clueing, though, too. I love "They don't hold water" for STRAINERS, "They might cut to the chase" for HEISTFILMS, and "One often sent packing?" for ASS. Heh.

Overall, a clever, tricky Saturday. Just like we like. 

- Horace

p.s. Only a few hours left before the Eurovision Final. I'm pulling for Iceland, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and Moldova. Not necessarily in that order.


  1. Hey congrats on your fully-vaccinated status!! Worth the temporary malaise, without a doubt. Up here in Canada my wife and I are waiting for our 2nd jab, which will likely be Astra Zeneca, same as the first, sometime in July. We suffered for a day after our first shot, as well.

    Fully grooved on this one today - 10:36. Agree on the overall level of cleverness! I've never heard BOOBOISIE before; in fact I had BOOROISIE in there for a while, which is arguably a better term (IMO). I think my favourite non-wordplay clue was the "desert capital" one, which cleverly leads one astray into the realm of African capitals...

  2. Horace, feel better! Sleep is good. Water is good.

    Fun puzzle. I didn't get the memo on GENERATION ALPHA, but it was a almost-gimme for me...had to be GENERATION something. Wikipedia says that LIMA, PERU is the third largest desert capital after Cairo and Karachi.

  3. I had a satisfying palindromic time at 25:52 today, so that's nice. No real slowdowns, even though I'll add my name to the list of those never having heard the term GENERATIONALPHA. I tried asia where LAOS goes at first, but the crosses fixed that up quickly. Odd clue for PLATONIC. And I agree with Horace on DONK. I wanted cONK, but I luckily saw the IPODS answer as the only possible entry. I never heard of AFILISTS or the term BOOBOISIE.