Thursday, May 20, 2021

Thursday, May 20, 2021, Trenton Charlson

First off, I want to say hello to Mr. Charlson. During this year's virtual A.C.P.T., he very nicely dropped in to CHAT at the table (virtual room) where Colum, Frannie, and I were hanging out, and I made a right ASS of myself. I've cried AARGH many times since then as I thought about the strange/rude welcome I gave him, and about all the questions I could have asked him instead. He kindly said that he looked at this blog from time to time, so I hoped to be the one who got to review his next puzzle so I could use this space to say I'm sorry. And now, here we are. Sorry I was an IDIOT, Trenton. And thanks for reading the blog. 


Now let's talk about this Thursday puzzle! The theme is SIXFEET UNDER, a show I've never seen, but my non-viewership didn't make any difference, and uncovering the revealer in the middle allowed me to figure out the two themers on the left. I had entered IFYOUgeTmydrift with only a cross or two (probably the F of LIFE, and maybe another), but I had already run into trouble with "Baby food" (PAP), so being able to move the "drift" down two spaces allowed for the correction to IFYOUCATCHMYDRI[FT]. It also allowed me to enter PARTINGGI[FT], which just had to be the answer to "Game show loser's prize." And after that, WILLIAMHOWARDTA[FT] became immediately clear. Of course, I should have thought of him right away, being the only person to hold the offices of both president and Supreme Court (chief) justice. 

Here's a question, would you rather feel MISTY or MOIST? They're pretty much the same thing, but one word sounds kind of pleasant, while the other is on many people's list of "most hated words."

When I had E_I_ for 1-Across "Seat of Oklahoma's Garfield County" I thought that another Erie had been found. Wouldn't that have been exciting? But no, it's ENID. And speaking of false starts, I caught on quickly to the trick in 61A "It's bigger than a family," but I don't know my taxonomy, so I guessed genus, and had to correct to ORDER when I got a few crosses. For the record, genus is smaller. Hopefully, this is another one of those situations where I'll learn something from a crossword.

OK, this is getting long, but I want to ask about GST before I go. The standard that I'm familiar with at the Prime Meridian is Greenwich Mean Time. Is this another standard? Does the lower-case M in the clue change something? I found a Gulf Standard Time, but that's four hours east of the prime meridian... little help?

Oh, and I should probably also mention that there are six instances of the letters "FT," for feet, extending out under the grid. I love this kind of pushing, and even breaking, the boundaries of the form. I'm the kind of guy who thinks that rules are a good idea, but that sometimes breaking them is an even better idea. Except that sometimes it's not, like when you break social rules and say to a guest that you have never met but are actually really happy to see "What are you doing here?!" ... What was that I was just saying about hoping to learn something? ... Sorry again, Mr. Charlson. Thanks for stopping in, and thanks for this fun puzzle.

- Horace

p.s. Favorite clue: Some remote power sources (AAS). Remote controls, not far-out... That had me fooled for quite some time. And "Leave nothing behind?" (STIFF) above it is also quite good.


  1. What a great crossword! Definitely cut me down to size - it took me forever to figure out the theme/trick and, thanks to 'AONE' instead of 'ACES' for 'Super-duper', I flubbed the bottom centre block and FWME. Oh and also, I stubbornly stuck with OKRA as the minestrone ingredient until almost the bitter end.

    Clever and enjoyable nonetheless. Looking forward to redeeming myself tomorrow :)

  2. Great commentary Horace, by the way! Sorry to have missed Trenton at the ACPT...

  3. Yay! Love this puzzle!

    Horace, I share your confusion re: GMT vs. GST (which is another reason to be thankful for the clue for STIFF, which I love and which also saved me here). I'm thinking you might be onto something with the lower case M in "meridian" but I'm still at sea about it.

    Nice write-up, and thank you, Trenton and Will, for the really cool puzzle.

  4. "Greenwich Sidereal Time" (see

    1. Wow. Thanks. That is completely new to me. Even the etymology - from "sidus," which Wikipedia says is Latin for star. Even after quite a bit of Latin, I only knew star as "astra."

      Just one more instance of me learning something from a puzzle. :) Thanks again.

  5. I started watching the series SIXFEET/UNDER, starring Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") back in 2004 while in MN to run the marathon there, but never finished. I remember enjoying the first few shows. Of course, everyone loves FIONA Apple; I'm glad she got a mention. STIFF is something I have, sadly, done, but it was justified both times. It takes a lot for me to make such an extreme decision as my normal gratuity is 20% on the total bill, including tax, rounded up to the next dollar, and I very often go well over that because I appreciate nice attention from the hard-working wait staff in general. Hopefully restaurants will find the staff they need to get back to normal now that restrictions are lifting. 22:46

  6. Hi Horace! Thanks, as always, for the review, and I'm glad you enjoyed the puzzle.

    Even though I've had a few years now to get used to it, it's always a bit surreal to see people discussing my puzzles. Meeting other crossword people, on the other hand, is still rather new to me (and it's even more surreal to me that I guess I'm actually a bit of a celebrity to some), so it was nice to get the chance to drop in and say hello at the virtual ACPT. I hope to be able to do so in person in Stamford eventually as well.

    No worries, and best wishes :)


    1. Thanks, Trenton. I hope we can all be in Stamford again next year. I'll be on my best behavior. :)