Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Wednesday, September 29, 2021, Alex Eaton-Salners

Fresh off of yesterday's poor showing, I'm happy to say I redeemed myself somewhat. I can't give you an exact time of solving because I had to leap up to save a bike shoe from a dog's less than tender oral embrace...

How many words are there in the English language which become their opposite if you add a single letter? Probably more than six, I'd guess, but the nice twist here is the added layer: when you read the extra letters in order from top to bottom, you get the revealer word SECRET. Nice touch!

I've seen most of these before, especially [T]HERE, [C]OVERT, and F[E]ASTS. I liked the switch from "reign" to RE[S]IGN and "evolutionary" to [R]EVOLUTIONARY

The fill is nice as well. from EMERALD to MENSWEAR and ROCKHARD, we've got some nice long answers. I would have expected the past participle of "yodel" to have only one L rather then two as in YODELLED. I see from the all-knowing Google that the single-L is the US version, while to double-L is the UK version.

This guy CENSES

I was fooled by the hidden capital in 26D: King of pop (CAROLE). Neither Elvis nor Presley would fit! On the other hand, I was not fooled by the same trick in 65A: Man in the Irish Sea, e.g. (ISLE).

We used to frequent an Ethiopian restaurant in Central Square in Cambridge called ASMARA. I wonder if it's still there. Perhaps Horace or Frannie can weigh in on this question.

I had never heard of a REALALE. After reading up on it, I'd be down for trying some.

Perhaps I could do with less NUDGER or LEVELER, but overall, a fun puzzle for a Wednesday.

- Colum


  1. I'll tell you my time : 5:32 :) Yet another great NYTXW theme! Except: SLEETY .. really? Colum, I do recommend REALALE, having imbibed quite a bit of it on my vacation last week. Things would have gone better for me if I hadn't put in TIRANA for Eritrea's capital, and then stubbornly resist changing it until all the crossers were corrected. Oh well.

  2. I, too, enjoyed this theme quite a bit. It's classic Games magazine-type stuff.

    As for REALALE, it seems like I must have had some of this in the past, but sure, I'm up for downing more. :)

    Finally, yes, ASMARA was still in business the last time I walked by, which was, admittedly, pre-pandemic - but only just.