Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sunday, May 23, 2021, Jennifer Nebergall


Some, when seeing the title of today's puzzle, might let out a CRYFORHELP, but fear not, there's no actual calculation required - one need only remember various names for math stuff. (Can you tell I was a language/arts guy?) We've got:

HIGHWAYMEDIAN - statistics
ANIMALPRODUCT - multiplication

It's only five, so nothing to get stressed about. And you could figure them out without really paying attention to the mathy parentheticals in the clues. Of course, I suppose those could have helped, too, if you were a real math NERD. Also, I love how that word is smack dab in the middle of the grid. That had to be intentional.

TOAD-in-the-hole, apparently

Aside from the theme, there's lots of entertainment in the fill. I loved the clue for CATS (2019 box-office flop described by one critic as "Les MeowsĂ©rables). Nice one. "What two Vikings have explored (MARS) was tricky! And AVOCADOS (Fruits often used in sushi) took me a while, because I rarely think of AVOCADOS as fruits. 

"Birthstone for Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez" (OPAL) was an interesting way to get all three of those women into the puzzle. And now they're in the review, too. :) Since my sister's birthstone is also OPAL, I looked up all the birthdays, and what do you know? AOC shares a birthday with my sister!

Hey, I can use YOUROCK to let you know that Italy won the Eurovision Song Contest this year with a driving rock song. They were my favorite, and I was very happy with the result. Frannie and I are already half planning a trip to Italy for next May...

And speaking of Frannie, she takes over again tomorrow. It's been a good week. Thanks for reading and commenting.

And congrats on a fine debut, Ms. Nebergall!

- Horace


p.s. When I woke up today, all the ACHY-ness of yesterday was gone. It was unpleasant, but it was also short-lived, and now - or in another 13 days or so, I can start to party like it's 1999!


  1. I'm so glad you're feeling better, Horace!

    Grew to appreciate this puzzle much more after looking at the finished (FWOE) grid...I was so intent on "doing the math" that I didn't realize math skills were not required -- the theme phrases in themselves are nice, in-the-language phrases and I simply didn't appreciate them as a plodded through. My downfall came with STOCK DIVIDEND which, in retrospect, I *know* is a thing, but I wanted DIVIDERS instead, duh. Not knowing TOAD-in-the-hole (thanks for the picture) didn't help me, but no excuse there...I defeated myself on this one! :-)

  2. Toad in the hole is gross. Clever theme! But it seemed a little spread out to me. Guess that's inevitable with the big Sunday grid.. 59A SCEPTRE's spelled wrong in the grid, ha ha, says the Canadian.... 15:01 for me today.

    Horace, kudos to you if you can actually party like it's 1999!!!

  3. TOAD-in-the-hole does, indeed, look like a gross bit of ANIMALPRODUCT and I would not EATIT, ever, even with HOTSAUCE. I enjoyed the mathiness of the clues and did, indeed, use the entire clues to come up with the correct answers. AMEXES was tricky, and it's always nice to be reminded of MSDOS. The Viking/MARS thing didn't have me tricked for a second, thankfully. A fun Sunday offering, and I came in with a TIME of 26:23, which is fairly normal.