Thursday, June 3, 2021

Thursday, June 3, 2021, Kyra Wilson and Sophia Maymudes

A double dose of fun from a doubled set of constructors! What a fun theme, revealed (appropriately enough) at 22D: Strengthen one's commitment ... and a hint to four answers in this puzzle (DOUBLEDOWN). And so we find in each corner that one down answer has all of its letters doubled, in order to indicate the hidden "double" that makes up the first part of the actual answer.

Thus, 2D: Candlelit dinners for four, say ([DOUBLE]DATES) is represented by DDAATTEESS. Nicely, although we read the doubled letters down singly, when they are in the across answers, they naturally are simply the doubled letters. I knew something was up when I looked at 1A: Stirs in, and couldn't straightforwardly enter A[DD]S, even when I confirmed the A with ANODE. O[TT]OMANS confirmed that something was going on. But it didn't become immediately clear until the revealer.

It's a beautifully done theme, and the rest of the puzzle is excellent as well. Of course, here in Albany, we have a double DOGGO household, so that sat nicely. 51A: Like bad apples and sour grapes? (IDIOMATIC) is a lovely clue. And who doesn't love the sound of CELESTAS, as heard in the Sugar Plum Fairy's song from the Nutcracker?


I solved with Cece and Hope, and so it was fitting that my daughter immediately got 56D: Bops or hits, say (SONGS). Almost without a pause. We've taught her well. She also got 8D: Things that are far from basic? (ACIDS). Among other answers, but those were the ones that really impressed me.

Really, it's a lovely puzzle, just what we like to see to start out the turn. I'd never heard of PAYA, and I don't think I want to think about it ever again. But otherwise, no complaints!

- Colum


  1. Really a lovely crossword. I usually work from top-left to bottom-right but this time, I think I was about two thirds of the way down the grid before the first answer even revealed itself to me. And it took forever for me to twig to the "trick"! A disappointing 10:17 for a Thursday puzzle but the overall experience was excellent!

  2. Like you, Colum, I thought something was up at A[DD]S, and N[AA]N confirmed it. I would have been at least a minute faster than my final 9:54, but after looking through the whole grid twice, I had to stop in at xwordinfo to find that I had misspelled AYCARuMBA. :( Frannie and I have watched a lot of Simpsons, and although he really only said that regularly for the first few seasons, I always heard it with a U sound. And yeah, "hoof meat" didn't correct it for me.

    1. OK Horace - you can have this one :)

    2. I'll take all of these I can get, because I know when we're both in Stamford next spring, there will be at least a hundred numbers between our names. :)

    3. Ha ha maybe, or also maybe, I'll wilt under the pressure of being there in person and there will STILL be a hundred numbers between our names! :)

  3. I FWOEd at the AYCARAMBA/PAYA cross entering, like Horace, a "u" and not getting help from the down. Funny that LSD is center grid. And nice that the doubled letters are symmetrically placed. Very well done puzzle and no complaints, other than PAYA, from this quarter. 12:58