Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tuesday, September 28, 2021, Meghan Morris


I'm just going to give myself a DNF today. Three errors is one too many for me to skate by on a "finished with..." Honestly, I can give myself a little leeway where a couple of the errors are concerned.

Let's start with the bad ones: 29D: Fires up? (SETSABLAZE). I had SETSAfLAmE. Fort fRAGG sounded off, to be certain, but it wasn't completely unlikely to be true. At the same time, I know of Fort BRAGG. I also know it's named after a Civil War Confederate general (one of ten forts in the country, apparently). So I should have figured that out. VIm instead of VIZ? Yeah, there's no explaining that one away.

My other error came at the cross of DON / LEMON. After seeing it, I now recognize it well. However, I tried DaN / LEMaN. You know. Dan the Man. That guy. 


The theme is fun, demonstrating all three kinds of ANGLEs, each one connecting up to the correct name in the theme answers. Thus BEINGOBTUSE then has "angle" falling away from it at an obtuse angle (although I'm not sure why it's backward). DOTHERIGHTTHING has "angle" perpendicular, and ACUTEACCENT... yeah, you get the idea.

I would have called it an "accent aigu," especially since almost all examples in English arise from French loan words. But I guess in English we call it an acute accent. But I liked the clue.


There are a few nice long entries here, especially WEBDUBOIS. LIFEGIVING is pretty good, as is DEEPROOTS.

There are a few too many RAZRS NTWT LTRS LIX and AKAS noted, presumably due to the difficulties of having triple-checked letters (the two "angles" on the diagonal). At the same time, it's a debut puzzle (or should that be d├ębut?), so all congratulations and welcomes are to be sent Ms. Morris's way.

- Colum


  1. I too had DaN LEMaN, which is about as naticky as naticks natick. I mean, I guess you could argue that "lemon" is more plausible than "leman" but I'm not sure I buy that given that the latter seems like a way which letters could fairly naturally be strung together.

    Not sure I'll ever really learn which Roman emperors come in which order. I was pretty sure that Nero was somewhere between, oh 0 to 400 CE but a bit surprised to find from crosses that it was towards the start of that. Oh well, doesn't hurt to have an excuse to read wikipedia (including some interesting questions about who liked or did not like Nero in antiquity, and how we read the historical sources).

  2. Hi yall, back from vacay (did ja miss me?) and I managed to escape all the pitfalls reported here and finish up in an angular 4:39. Liked the theme! I saw the ANGLEs as rotations from the X-axis (horizontal) around the As, which would make the upper-right one suitably OBTUSE. I dunno, maybe I'm overthinking (or, possibly, being OBTUSE myself)

    Holiday was great! Punctuated by an extremely close encounter with a humpback whale (almost touching distance) from the marginal safety of a Zodiac...

  3. Welcome back, Philbo!

    (Raising hand on the DAN/LEMAN thing.)