Saturday, March 26, 2022

Saturday, March 26, 2022, Ashton Anderson and James Mulhern

Hoo-boy. This was a beauty. So tough! And good practice, I suppose, for next weekend. 

I spent a long time with only a few guesses in the grid, and it was a RELIEF to get any kind of a foothold at all. For me, it came at 42A: Polaroid's SX-70 camera, for one: Abbr. (SLR). That is not, by any stretch, the most salient feature of the SX-70, but still, it let me posit an adverbial Y under the L, which gave me MOTLEY (Ragtag), and while the rest of that corner wasn't exactly ASNAP, it did get me started. 

This is the kind of puzzle where I can hardly remember how I managed to get through it. It's all speculation and guessing until something clicks. I thought of IBMS for "Watson and others," and guessed at NONPAREIL (Ne plus ultra) (nice French/French C/AP), and eventually BRANDISH (Wave one's arms?) (lovely), and SEEDOUBLE (Lose focus, in a way) broke the logjam in the NW.

I was happy to see my people represented in FINN (Member of the world's happiest people, per repeated World Happiness Reports), and I liked the trivia in ALLIGATOR (Animal that can grow up to 3,000 teeth in its lifetime). "What 'chicken' and 'egg' are examples of" is an excellent clue for SALADS, and BIOFUEL (Algae, at times) is a nice modern idea. But let's SAYNOMORE about CUDDLEPUDDLE, shall we? Who knew that was an expression?

Tough. I finally got the "Congratulations!" screen at the 35-minute mark, and I was ready to shout out CANIGETANAMEN

Loved the clues, loved the entries (most of them), and I loved the challenge. 

- Horace


  1. Incredibly difficult - so many missteps along the way. I had LosER for LEPER, FeRmi for FARAD (wrong but I can't remember why), leTLOOSE for CUTLOOSE, dusT for SLAT...

    I love KINDA for "Not totes," the clue for ASS (why shouldn't we covet it, if we don't actually do anything about it?), and BEERS. 19:30.

  2. Yes - it was a pretty sparse beginning for me too - after a first scan through the clues, practically nothing was jumping out. I think ASS was my first one in! "Not totes" stumped me till the very end. Why is "Tube Letters" ADA? And "CUDDLEPUDDLE"? Really? Once I spotted FARAD, though, it all started to click and 10:27 ultimately. Hopefully I can bring a bit o' mojo to the proceedings next week! Looking forward to meeting you guys there :)

  3. I didn't think it was too hard, but I messed up in the NW corner by NOT bothering to read the clues -- at 14 Down I put SMILE, giving me ILE and LINDA. Fun puzzle! Oh, Philbo? ADA stands for American Dental Association and the initials are on toothpaste tubes.

    1. Ooohh... you Americans and your zany acronyms!! :) :)