Saturday, November 6, 2021

Saturday, November 6, 2021, Brooke Husic and Will Nediger

I had the most trouble with the northeast. I knew the Morrison book, but I couldn't quite recall the title until I got the first letter from SALEM ("Boston exurb").  I also had a false start in that section with "Bio subject." I went with a 'science education' interpretation of the clue and tried 'anat' at first. I should have made note of the lack of a period after "bio" which works perfectly with the correct answer LIFE. My first interpretations of the clues "Grande and others" and "It's sold by the yard" also went astray. For the former, I thought of the singer Ariana Grande, for some reason, even though I don't really know her from Adam, and 'sod' for the latter. But, STARBUCKSORDERS and ALE were correct. Other places I guessed correctly right off the bat, though, were STOREBRAND ("Lower-cost option at a supermarket, usually"), STEVE ("Martin or Harvey"), MERCEDESBENZ (believe it or not) for "Maker of the world's first diesel-powered passenger car" , PERKS ("Brightens, with 'up'"), and of course, "Whom to call 'maman'" (MERE). Taking the right tack, and just straight up knowing a few answers resulted in a pretty fast Saturday time, for this solver (20:27). 


I thought the band of long answers across the middle of the grid was solid, as were the pairs of ten-letter answers in the northwest and southeast, with my favorite being PROPELLERBEANIE. The puzzle did play a little "section-y" which made the northeast and southwest corners into almost separate mini-puzzles.

The clue "Reciprocal of a siemens" put up some resistance. I didn't even know what topic category the word might belong in. Luckily the downs made the answer ampere (OHM). PONE was another one outside my everyday vocabulary, but I have heard of it. SWIG is a great word. I enjoyed the QMC "Walk on water?" (PIER) - ha!

Other clues of interest were "Thread count?" for TEXTS - not immediately obvious to this solver, and the clue that says Facebook allows for more than 53 GENDERS

And, as this week of reviews comes to a close, I enCRUST you into the capable hands of my friend, speedy solver, and co-blogger, Colum. I want to take this opportunity to thank him for kindly swapping weeks with me a few times recently due to an all-consuming work project - IOWEYOUONE



  1. Our times were very close, Frannie! Mine was 20:46, but fully eight minutes of that was spent staring at a completely blank NE corner.

    I liked the GLITZ/GLAM cross, and many of the long answers. I had SluG instead of SWIG for a long time, and was thinking of shoes, not cornbread, with the Hush puppies. Should have noticed the missing capital on puppies, I guess...

    Nice photo of ARBUS!

  2. 20:30 for me. STORE BRAND was a gimme, since just this morning I asked my very frugal husband why he bought Puffs Tissue instead of the STORE BRAND (it was on sale). I lucked out on PROPELLER BEANIE (never played Jr. Pac-Man) and TAKES FOR GRANTED, but only after I realized THE DAILY SHOW wasn't right. Oddly, I never think of SALEM as an exurb...I lived in Swampscott for years and just figured all the North Shore towns were suburbs of Boston.

  3. So funny... I got started in the NE corner because SULA came to mind quickly. We recently read it in our book club. Amazing book. Fun puzzle with some great entries. I loved WERERABBIT. "Not even Wensleydale?" as we like to say round these parts. 7:42 for me.