Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Wednesday, February 9, 2022, Grant Thackray

A SEA CUCUMBER isn't really a vegetable, but who knew an ELECTRIC EEL wasn't really an eel? Turns out it's closer to a catfish. (But it is able to deliver a shock.) Two of the AQUATIC creatures in today's theme are double negatives - the JELLY FISH is neither a fish, nor edible jelly, and a MANTIS SHRIMP is, well, you get the picture. But I'm confused about ORCA WHALE. Is that different from the plain old ORCA that's in the dolphin family? Or has the taxonomy changed recently? [Turns out the classification between "whale" and "dolphin" is only "informal." They're both in the infraorder cetacea. (Yeah, ok, and Pluto's not a planet...)]

By the way, MANTIS SHRIMP are some pretty interesting creatures. Their kind has been around since long before the dinosaurs, their eyes have more color receptors than any other animal, they have a lightning fast punch that can break aquarium glass, and some of them live in monogamous relationships for twenty years or more. We humans think we're all that, but we don't have the slightest idea what we're sharing the Earth with. Sure, we've given them all confusing names, but what do we really know about the other animals?

It was a fun theme, and the fill is full of clever clues, too. "It's often made hot and served cold" (ICEDTEA), "Sing in a high range?" (YODEL), "Capital that ends with its state's first two letters" (TOPEKA), and "One who sets the stage" (ROADIE) - all good. And how 'bout "Preschool group?" for ROE? Very nice. 

Lovely Wednesday.

- Horace

p.s. In the comments over the last couple days, there have been messages about and from a filmmaker. I repeat part of her message here, in case you haven't had the time or inclination to read the comments (and usually, I fully support avoiding comments online, but in this blog, so far, it's been safe.) For her contact info, look at yesterday's comments. - H

Hi my name is Veronica I am a film student at Boston University creating a documentary on competitive crosswords puzzles. I created a post in the Crosswords Tournaments Facebook group and I was turned to y'all's blog. I would love to use any of you as interview subjects. I am also hoping to go to the American Crossword Tournament in Stamford and heard you both will be doing the same. Let me know if you want any involvement or have any leads to people who may be interested.

1 comment:

  1. I'm shocked to learn that an ELECTRIC EEL...isn't. And a JELLYFISH isn't a FISH??? Well, good for the FISH population, I say! (Having been stung by those critters in my Swampscott beach days.) Fun puzzle. And fun clues.