Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thursday, September 23, 2021, Simeon Seigel

Today's grid reminds us that certain information should be kept secret by blacking out an SSN, a PIN, and a DOB. The three redacted pieces of personal information are nicely symmetrical, and appear in the middle of three grid-spanning entries. 

Flipping the BIRD

It's a fancy theme, but it seems to have made the grid a bit RIGID, and we end up with oddities like ANTNESTS, AEROBATS, and ATREUS (Father-in-law of Helen of Troy). POTLEAVES (Symbols often accompanying the phrase "Legalize it"), ESTERS, ALLELE, BANC (Like Supreme Court hearings, with "en") ... it's not that ITSNOTOK, but it feels like kind of a lot of OUTRE entries. And not only did I know know what was beside the WYNN casino, until this morning I didn't know it existed.

Not to pile it on, but I never really like seeing those em-dash clues. The first one gave away that 20-Across was somehow connected to 19-Across, and I don't know how else it might be clued to avoid that, but it always diminishes the effect a bit. At least for me.

Again, I appreciate the beauty of the hidden abbreviations, but the rest of it left me a little flat. Sometimes that'll happen, but tomorrow is, after all, another day. I hope you enjoyed it.

- Horace


  1. The dashed clues — well I guess for me they provide sort of the right amount of hint: something is up but you need to figure out what.

    I did like the clue for VASE and the clue for SARI anuses me because I really wanted "taco" (although I suppose that isn't quite a wrap and "taquito" is too many letters)

  2. FWOE -- and in the revealer! Had BLOCK rather than BLACK. Oh, well. Anyway, I know why a SSN and a PIN should be kept under wraps, but I never could figure out why a DOB is so sensitive. That gave me some trouble with the GROUND OBSERVER answer. And yes I see what you're doing with that image, Horace o' mine. ;-)

    1. Well, I was afraid that the image would make it seem like I disliked the puzzle more than I did - I really didn't hate it - but I used it anyway because we've just recently gotten wrapped up in the whole Ted Lasso phenomenon. Two more to watch tonight and we'll be totally caught up!

    2. Nah, I didn't get that message at guys often sneak an image in that has something to do with a fill word -- and woo-hoo, this time I got it! :-)

    3. OK, good. And when it's me (and often when it's Frannie), if you hover over the photo the fill word will pop up.

    4. Oh I know, but I like to figure it myself :-) [Shhhh!)