Thursday, November 4, 2021

Thursday, November 4, 2021, David Steinberg

I'm not sure I get today's theme. The revealer is "Hairy problem? ... or a hint to his puzzle's theme" (SPLITENDS). I entered pairs of letters - rebus style - at the beginning and end of several answers, as needed to make both Across and Down answers work. Does that count as the split ends? The fact that [H]OLDINGO[N] has the same middle letters as [G]OLDINGO[T] is cool, I guess, but is that all that's going on here? I don't know. I could look for other reviews on the World Wide Web to check, but that's not my way. I'm sure, dear Readers, you will let me know if I'm missing something here. :)

I liked "Seriously overcharged" (GOUGED) and "Ermine, in the summer" (STOAT). I thought "Kind" was a nicely ambiguous clue that turned out to be NICE instead of the usual 'ilk' or 'type'. I also enjoyed the three question mark clues "Nearly pointless" for DULL, "Tank top?" for GA[SC]AP for "Tank top?", and "Outdated charging device?" for LANCE - ha! "What separates money from everything" (ISNT) was another kind of fun question mark clue. 

I also enjoyed clues 44 and 46A "Again ..." and "Again!" (IREPEAT and ENCORE). "Mayhem" and HAVOC are both good words. 


I'm lucky KEGS filled itself in by way of the Downs; I don't know if I would ever have realized Natural Light was a beer. OTOH, I am a big fan and user of Fleur de SEL. Mmmmmm, sel. 

For my money, 'gasconade' and 'fanfaronade' make BRAG sound a lot better. Just sayin'.



  1. Yeah, I'm going to have to start doing a lot less bragging and a lot more fanfaronading. Hah!

    But maybe neither is appropriate today, because I finished this without really knowing what was going on, and only when the squares were automatically filled in with both letters at the end did I realize that they were all Schrodinger squares - except that they had to act together instead of being free to switch on their own. A weird theme, but novel.

  2. You described the theme so I'm not sure what part of it is puzzling. I knew something was up when answers like [AB]BA were one letter off from fitting. And then when I saw it was a rebus in one direction, and in the other direction the two clues called for choosing one or the other (in the same order as in the clue, and the same order at both enda), well that was kind of fun.

    Steinberg has improved hugely as a constructor. His early puzzles were just difficult without much especially joyful or exciting. This one was neat. Even as it took me a bit of time to get through, it kept me wanting to figure it out.

    I too was a bit obsessed with the ambiguous clue "kind" (I was thinking "sort"). Oh and something about OLDME tickled my fancy (maybe because it seems a bit quaint, maybe because a crossword seems like a slightly improbable place to find it).