Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sunday, May 16, 2021, Joe DiPietro



Greetings, All. It’s Horace, back for another week after a string of lovely reviews from Colum and Frances. This “on one week, off two” routine has been working out pretty well so far for the three of us, but we did speak recently about how long this could/should/would go on, and my quick response was “ten years,” but who knows, really. And who knows if I’m the one who should decide even. We’ll see what happens, I guess.


But before we stop blogging, let’s talk about this unusually difficult Sunday puzzle! It’s got a rebus, which is always fun, but there are two things that are unusual about this rebus – for one thing, the rebus is always different, and for another thing, it’s hidden in black squares! AND, they’re all part of a larger theme of “words that can be paired with ‘shot.’” Whew! Let’s print them all out:




And then we have the two “Shot in the dark” clues, which are answered with UNEDUCATEDGUESS and LASTDITCHEFFORT.


Now, I normally enjoy rebus puzzles, but this one left me a bit cold. The theme didn’t seem super tight (“one shot?”), I didn’t see how the “shot in the dark” clues added much, and finally, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was some kind of commentary on this whole coronavirus/vaccination time we’re in, and from that perspective (not necessarily valid, I know), UNEDUCATEDGUESS and LASTDITCHEFFORT don’t seem particularly welcome.


Then there’s the entries like BRAH, CRUMP, REEVE, ATIT, GENL, … I don’t know. I’m guessing it’s quite a feat of construction, but from this solver’s point of view, it wasn’t SUPERDUPER.


Favorite clue - "I touched your nose!" sound (BOOP). Runner up - "First offer?" (CAIN)

See you tomorrow!


- Horace


  1. For the first time ever, EVER!, I quit on this one. As the judges on "Top Chef" and "Project Runway" and the like always say to those who go too far, "Edit, edit, edit!" Where were you, Will Shortz?

  2. P.S. You know what would have been a good clue for CRUMP, in place of the absurd one that made it to the page? "Civil rights attorney Ben." Try to keep up.

  3. Hullo Horace! I'm not gonna lie, I found this tough sledding. The theme wasn't jumping out at me and so I wound up scattershotting all over the grid until absolutely forced to confront the 'dash' clues and the answers which had to be right but weren't making sense. Finally wrestled it to the ground in a solid 23:54.

    I too liked CAIN. But I have to confess, I never put together the 'hidden' words and so the full theme was lost on me.

  4. Yes, this was a tough one, and CRUMP nearly made me throw the iPad across the room. I like the idea, and it was carried out reasonably well. I guess ONE shot is like, you only get... I dunno. It was fine. And First offer? nearly made up for the price of admission.

  5. I enjoyed it! I knew something was going on with the "-" clues, but didn't know what. Then as I filled in the squares I kept a handwritten record of the missing letters, and boom -- it hit me!The clue for CRUMP is straight out the dictionary, but I agree it was a toughie. Now that I look at the word I keep thinking of Opie's teacher on old TV. :-)

  6. I, too, enjoyed it, but it ran much tougher than a regular Sunday (39:41). CRUMP reminds me, as it should every educated person, of the "New Cooker Sketch."

  7. I can't help thinking of the dance form "krump," and I would much rather have seen that in the grid.

  8. I am new at these crosswords this year and have never given up before completion, until this one. Had to go to internet to see if anyone else had the same reaction. Dislike.