Friday, June 18, 2021

Friday, June 18, 2021, Daniel Larson

The constructor takes full advantage of the 15 x 15 grid today with seven grid-spanning Across answers and one central top-to-bottom Down answer. I know that for at least one solver the layout of the puzzle brought to mind famed constructor Martin "Cord Wood" Ashwood Smith, thanks to the top and bottom triple stacks. 

As chance would have it, I just finished reading a Bill Bryson book called, "I'm a Stranger Here Myself." One result of which was a familiarity with his other book titles, so one Across (AWALKINTHEWOODS)was easier than it might have been for this solver. I didn't get the second long Across answer off the clue ("Give a scolding"), but I like the expression CALLONTHECARPET. The third long Across answer, however, I knew immediately (THEBACHELORETTE). Horace's Dad is a fan of the show so, having discussed it with him, I know a thing or two about it. Oh, and I knew the long Down, "1960s spy series" (THEMANFROMUNCLE). My Dad was a fan of that show.  

I didn't know any of the long answers in the bottom section right off the clue, but my favorite, once I got it, was CARETOELABORATE. I first tried 'bemorespecific' but it was a letter short. I like to think that the speed solvers, if they had even considered that answer, would immediately and automatically have known the number of letters in 'bemorespecific' and would have dismissed it out of hand, without even trying it. Whereas I typed it in, and then saw it was too short, then deleted it. Multiply the time those actions took by 100 and you'll have the difference between my solve times and those of someone like Eric Agard or Tyler Hinman. The multiplication factor of 100 has been scientifically proven and authenticated by Dr. Fill. :) 


I am perhaps going on too long about the long answers ; I don't want to give short shrift to the fine shorter fare including "Look after" (MIND), "Lucky strike" (ORE), "Pick up" (DETECT), and "Grand" for THOU. How about "Something you're not likely to fork out?" For some reason, I instantly guessed SOUP. It's always interesting to me to find out which trick answers seem obvious to people and which more resemble enigmas wrapped in blankets covered by a cloud. 

I ended, after 18 minutes and 18 seconds, at BEEFLOIN. I had trouble parsing both the clue ("Cut off the back") AND the answer. I kept reading the answer as if it started with the word BEE, but what, I ask you, is a FLOIN? It still looks funny to me even after I know what it's meant to be. Another answer that was funny in a different way was 3D: "Pub container". I've enjoyed many a glass of ale in my time, but never knew I was drinking out of an ALEGLASS. Not that it particularly matters what I drink my ale out of, as long as I get to drink it. :)



  1. I squeezed this one in last night before my Moderna shot kicked in. Always impressed by grids like this with all those long answers. And physics clues are a nice bonus! 6:14

  2. Beautiful grid, definitely reminiscent of MAS. I didn't know BEEF LOIN either, and ALE GLASS looked odd, but it was inferable. Feel better, Philbo!

  3. Well, people blew my time away (25:37). I had trouble with CARETOELABORATE and SLEEVELESSDRESS, and some of their crosses, not to mention a few wrong answers to start. For instance, I tried teND where MIND goes and bARSONGS where WARSONGS goes. I was specifically thinking of OUR own National Anthem (no, not "O Canada," Philbo), of course, and assumed everyone else in the world would take their cues from us, but no. I didn't love seeing both STEAKS and BEEFLOIN in the same puzzle, but did enjoy TESSERAE, which nearly made up for it. Tougher than usual Friday for this solver.

  4. Well, Philbo, I finished in exactly the same time as you. Fun puzzle, especially with all the grid spanners. I got RUSSIANROULETTE immediately, but I should have figured out THEMANFROMUNCLE sooner.

    1. Thought I sensed a disturbance in the force!!! :)

    2. I felt like I was blazing through it and came in at 7:12.