Saturday, March 19, 2022

Saturday, March 19, 2022, Ryan McCarty

I took one look at today's perfectly symmetric pinwheel grid with the 10 interlocking 9-letter answers across the middle and gulped. And I was right to! This one was a challenge from start to finish.

I incorrectly put in iBn at 1A: It means "father of" in Arabic (ABU), but it gave me BIOLAB at 2D, and TASER. I should have made more progress here (especially with MEW, WET, and EMIR in place), but those incorrect letters held me up.

Another incorrect guess at 10D: Count ____ (CHOCULA) made the NE corner tougher than it had to be. Can you guess what I put in? It's tough when your wrong choice has four correct letters, so once again, I moved on.

The first corner I really got going in was the SE. TBS was the gimme, and I put in ___TAB off that. SEENOTE always makes me think of "Adelaide's Lament" from Guys and Dolls, which is funny, because GRIPPE also plays a big role in that song. 26D: It gets bald over time (TIRETREAD) could only be one thing on a Saturday, which helped me see what the heck was going on at 48A: Schoolmaster for the classroom, e.g. (ANAGRAM). That's outstanding cluing!

I took out my third major misguess at this point. 16D: Silent film star known as the "Man of a Thousand Faces" (LONCHANEY) was definitely never going to be "valentino," which helped me get PONTIAC (not POtomAC). Finally the middle started opening up and I was able to work back out into the various corners and finish it up in the SW.


Other clues to admire: 

20D: Something often seen with trunks (BARECHEST). Not elephants, sadly.

25A: Headwear for the big game? (SAFARIHAT). I knew it was going in this direction, but still needed several crosses to get there.

37A: Came out of the blue? (CHEEREDUP).

And it took for-freaking-ever to get 49A: Italy's longest river (THEPO). That damned definite article. Did not expect that.

It's been a fun week! I look forward to seeing people in a couple of weeks at the ACPT.

- Colum

P.S. One of my reviews this week has a picture that doesn't belong with the others. Which one?!

1 comment:

  1. Whoosh! A perfect Saturday, in my view. Very tough to break through. And yeah, I held onto draCULA for way too long. And I had LOOKSat for a while... You got a lot of the good clues, but what about "Act huffy?" (PANT) Heh. So many good ones.

    And as for your question - unless Her Majesty put out a single that I missed some time in the early Psychedelic Rock era, I'm going with her.