## Friday, September 17, 2021

### Friday, September 17, 2021, Matthew Stock

Happy weekend to all our many readers! Hope you've got some fun stuff planned.

I liked the grid in today's puzzle. It's an odd sort of symmetry, along the NW to SE diagonal, creating some nice crossings of long answers. I don't know that I've seen its type before. By looking it up on xwordinfo.com, I see it's the ninth such puzzle since Mr. Shortz took over editing, and many were before I started solving the daily routinely.

I had a bit of a misstep early on by wanting to put iriquoix in at 1A (MOHICANS), but realized quickly that it couldn't be right. Hope figured out the actual answer shortly thereafter. Other good answers in this section include LEGOMOVIE, MELTINGPOT, and LAIDSIEGE. I also very much enjoyed the clue at 32A: Ground shaking stuff? (PEPPER) - that's really clever!

Not a huge fan of pluralizing TREACLES. It doesn't seem like a mass of goop can come in groups of more than one, rather than in larger volumes. But LIONSMANE and GLITTERBOMB are fun answers, and 40D: Ones who are sent packing? (HITMEN) is brilliant as well.

In case you were wondering, a semordnilap (palindromes backwards) is a word whose reverse is also a word, but not the same word as in a palindrome.

I recall the CHICAGOBEARS doing "The Super Bowl Shuffle," the year they unceremoniously drubbed the Patriots, who had no right to be in the big game, having won their way there from the Wild Card position. Mind you, things have turned around a fair bit in the time since then...

I did have one error today: I put in TzAR instead of TSAR, and thought for a few seconds too long that LUzITANIA was a reasonable spelling of the ship whose sinking brought the United States into WWI. Well, after about two more years.

A good themeless, keeping up the high level of puzzles this week. Looking forward to tomorrow!

- Colum