Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday, September 20, 2021, Pao Roy

Today, for perhaps the first time, I thought it might be nice if the puzzle were circular instead of square, to go with the theme of the layers of the Earth. Then again, maybe the cross-section works better, since it's also about the journey of MAGMA going from - below the core? - out to the surface, where it becomes ROCKS


That ROCKS (What lava becomes after an eruption) answer doesn't sit well with me. For one thing, lava is often still called lava once it's above ground. And while yes, it does eventually break up into individual ROCKS, it would be more natural to say that it becomes simply volcanic rock. Sure, it's a quibble, but that's what they pay me the big bucks for over here at HAFDTNYTCPFCA.

And hey - maybe if the eruption were really huge, it would become ASTEROIDS! :)

Nice little French pair of SEINE and CINQ over on the left-hand side today. I like the trivia in "River beneath 37 Parisian bridges." Maybe now I'll remember that number - it's the same one Bill Lee wore back when he was my favorite Red Sox pitcher. 

Anywho, in addition to the modern GLUTENFREECRUST, the uncommon ASSUMETHEMANTLE, and the unfortunate ROTTENTOTHECORE, we've got the aforementioned MAGMA and ROCKS, and ASHES (Volcanic emissions) right in the middle. And maybe some bonus material in the clue for WATER (One piece of evidence of a planet's habitability). I needed a CLUE or two for the SONG singers SISQO and J. COLE, but the crosses worked out. 

Congratulations to Pao Roy for the NYTX debut. A solid - or is that liquid or ashy? - start to the week.

- Horace


  1. Yes! What a neat theme! Loved it. Except for the futzing around in the NW corner after putting MAGMA in instead of ROCKS (and thinking, "that can't be right, but ok")... Very enjoyable. Nice one Pao Roy! 3:12 for me.

    Off on vacay to rocky Newfoundland for a week. "See" y'all next Tuesday!

  2. Hah! My brain also went to "magma" when I saw "lava" in the clue and a five letter answer. But when I noticed it didn't make sense, I was wanting like "basalt" "pahoehoe", "aa", any number of technical terms. So when I got ROCKS from crosses, it tickled my funny bone. Although I do see the review's point that "rock" as a collective noun does fit the clue better.