Saturday, February 5, 2022

Saturday, February 5, 2022, Kameron Austin Collins

You know you're going to get a well crafted smooth puzzle when you see Mr. Collins's byline, with interesting and unexpected answers and clues, and today's puzzle did not disappoint.

I broke in with 3D: Crab ____ (NEBULA), confirmed by SEA and ELLE. After that, the corner went pretty quickly, especially with my favorite Korean dish BIBIMBAP anchoring it. 13A: Throw on the floor (AREARUG) is such a great non-QMC. Everything in this corner is done well, from 6D: Talk over? (DUB) to 19A: Replete (with) (LOUSY).

I exited comfortably with 14D: Marijuana, some say (GATEWAYDRUG), and the whole middle section opened up nicely. It's a benefit of all of those nice crossing 5-letter answers, that as you get going, the rest fall into place. My favorite C/AP came at 17D: The right one can produce a smile (PARENTHESIS). Hah! :).

The SEA by Turner

All of the answers here are very nice, from PETTYTYRANT to 32A: Result of selling out (PACKEDHOUSE) - not lower street cred. I don't love CRUDS as a peculiar plural, but everything else is solid.

I filled in the SW corner next, followed by the NE. I liked the pair of Hollywood clues (PLANET and PRECODE). In the opposite corner, who doesn't like a NERUDA quote? And PUDDYTAT was unexpected and delightful.

Finally, I tackled the SE corner, with the excellent 46A: Sugar substitute? (SNOOKUMS). I had it all filled in except for the crossing of 40D and 40A. That last letter took a long time to figure out for some reason. 40A: Live on water, say (FAST) was clearly a great misdirection for this solver, but FAKED should have come faster. Finished in 9:24, but had everything finished but that last bit in just over 7...

It's been a fun week! Each puzzle its own piece of fine art. Tomorrow Horace takes over.

- Colum


  1. What. A. Workout! Especially that NE corner. I didn't know AREPAS, AD LITEM, or NERUDA. Thank goodness for teeing PUDDY TAT! Tweety saved me! Absolutely loved the clues in this one, especially for PARENTHESIS -- beautiful.

    Thanks for the week, Colum!

  2. I'm with you, Kelly! No 9:24 for me today, that's for sure.

    PARENTHESIS is going to make me add to the much neglected "Favorite Clues" page on this blog. That's a top-notch C/AP!