Saturday, April 30, 2022

Saturday, April 30, 2022, Joe Dipietro

Well, the themeless puzzles in The Turn did not disappoint this week. Both put up hard fights, and had plenty of fun and interesting answers with tough clues.

I will register my official (not official because I have no standing other than what we have given ourselves by writing this blog) (maybe official because Will Shortz expressed a hope that we weren't going to stop any time soon) complaint about the 1A and 2D. It is certainly true that a BOG is often an archaeological site, and I didn't fall for the more obvious diG. I don't like the clue "During" for OVER. Of course, now, looking at it, I can't see why I thought eVER would work. Ah well.

I also had an error at the crossing of TANKA and TUGS. I tried lUGS for "Jerks," and have never heard of this particular Japanese poetry form. But this one I chalk up to a learning moment.

The three grid-spanning answers are fun and fresh. NEVERFELTBETTER is great, while GAMESHOWNETWORK is a fine answer whose clue was actually a little too easy for this solver. The best clue of the three comes at 56A: People may never get over it (BARBEDWIREFENCE). Hah!

Do they look wise?

Some other fun clues:

30A: Poorly written words (SCRAWL) - hits home for this doctor.

59A: Musical segment (ACTII). Nice the use of "musical" as a noun rather than an adjective.

12D: One working for a dictator (STENO). True in so many senses.

33D: About to be sold (GOINGONCE) - unexpected!


Tomorrow we turn things back to Horace. See you in a couple of weeks!

P.S. There is a theme to the pictures in my posts this week - any guesses as to what might connect them all together?

- Colum

Friday, April 29, 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022, Erica Hsiung Wojcik

Sometimes clues in crossword puzzles are tough not because they're so dang clever, but because they are so simple. Look at 1A: Clean (WASH) - so many possibilities here. And we're not helped out by 1D: Floats (WAFTS). I had nothing going there until the very end of the puzzle.

I had much more luck on the east side of the puzzle. ETNA led to ETHos (incorrect, but fixed later on), and the also incorrect loRd for SIRE. Nonetheless, I exited the corner with some momentum on the strength of the amazing and unusual THEREMINS. If you've never realized you've heard one before, you will when you listen to Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys. That's a theremin making the weird swooping sounds in the chorus.

I then skipped down to the SE corner, where the unfortunate ONION and the GASOL brothers made short work of this section. I liked 45A: Apple counter (GENIUSBAR) - counter as in a piece of furniture, rather than an accountant. From here, the very nice non-QMC 24D: It's on the road again (USEDVEHICLE) opened up SLANDEROUS, and finally we were off to the races.

MOSH pit

was my first long answer in the middle. 34A: They promise no hurt feelings (PAINRELIEVERS) is laugh out loud funny. And 30A: It's just you and me, baby (SOLOPARENTING) is also very nicely done. Three for three in the middle!

To work in TABULARASA and TRAGICOMEDY is lovely. I also enjoyed seeing FLIRTATION above TEENAGERS. Seems apt. Apt!

I'd say this is a well above average Friday themeless.

- Colum

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Thursday, April 28, 2022, Pao Roy

A simply lovely Thursday for the start of The Turn! I figured out what was going on about 1/3 of the way through solving.

How many of us had IMAGE at 1A: Thumbnail, and then took it out when filling in 1D: Part of a sun salutation, in yoga ([DOWNARROW]WARDFACINGDOG)? I tried upWARDFACINGDOG first, which, if you've ever owned a dog, is the slightly less cute dog position. I worked through the full side of the west and started up the middle, when I hit 19A: Hosp. hookups (IVS). That IVT in the middle gave me pause, and then I saw it.

It's just the sort of theme that can only work with your theme answers in the long down positions. For those who are unaware (or who maybe just never thought much about it), any puzzle can be flipped across the axis of symmetry from NW to SE and still work. So there is only convention keeping our theme answers as the long acrosses. 

Here, IV becomes a down arrow, replacing the word "down" in four common phrases. Thus GOT[DOWNARROW]TOBUSINESS, TRICKLE[DOWNARROW]THEORY, and KEEPSONTHE[DOWNARROW]LOW. Also very nice is how the arrow steadily moves down the grid as you go from left to right.

BAMBI and friends

Some fun clues today:

34A: Hamilton producers? (ATMS). Cute.

41D: Muppet whose self-identified species is "Whatever" (GONZO) - agreed. Don't let them pigeonhole you, Gonzo, and your pet hens.

38D: Sight seers (EYES). Indeed they are.

Fun puzzle.

- Colum

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Wednesday, April 27, 2022, Alex Bajcz

When I was a young lad, first year in college, I spent way too many hours in the rec room of the Freshman Union. Most of that time was spent playing pool, which I got reasonably good at over time. The rest was spent playing the Terminator pinball machine. Ah, the skills you learn in school...

All of which is to say that once again I had no clue what was going on in the puzzle today. And there's no revealer in the grid! I saw the circles, but couldn't make heads or tails of them. Fortunately, I checked the information button, which revealed that I had to read the circles in a clockwise manner, starting at the bottom, to find that they in face spell out P-I-N-B-A-L-L.

Thus, the "combo" of COMBOMEALS, "replay" of INSTANTREPLAY, "tilt" of TILTATWINDMILLS (very nice answer!), "flipper" of BURGERFLIPPER, and "bumper" of BUMPERCROP are all references to pinball machines. It's interesting that they bounce back and forth from the first word to the last word and back as you move down the grid, sort of like in an actual pinball machine. I would have liked it better if the flipper had been at the bottom, though.

Are we all lit?

We don't often see AKRONOHIO as a whole answer, and probably never see ALOEPLANT written out like that, but both are perfectly cromulent. 

But the puzzle shines with the cluing:

1A: One inclined to go in and out (RAMP) - that's lovely.

5D: Pretty trim (LACING). Not what I was expecting! By the way, these last two are great examples of non-QMCs at their best.

10D: Name often called in a smart home (ALEXA) - hah!

29A: What's often kept undercover? (SHEET) And a great example of a QMC.

- Colum

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Simon Marotte

I love finishing a puzzle and having to look back over the theme to understand what's going on. When it hits, that aha! moment is delightful.

Today, I had to read the clue for the revealer twice to get what was going on. The revealer itself, ROCKBOTTOM, was confusing. Was I supposed to add "rock" to one of the words of each of the starred answers? That didn't seem to help. And then I saw the word "musical" in the clue, and got it. Each starred answer's second word is the name of a well-known rock band.

My own personal ranking of the bands involved in the quiz? I thought you'd never ask. Clearly Queen is number one (DRAGQUEEN), with the other three in a jumbled mix afterwards. Probably I'd put Rush second (SUGARRUSH), and then I guess Kiss (AIRKISS) followed by Heart (CANDYHEART) with a lot of question marks. Thoughts?

It's a nice smooth grid overall. My only real complaint is 46D: Fire felonies (ARSONS). I don't really think that's a noun that can be pluralized. Multiple fire felonies is still just arson in my mind.

Other than that, I enjoyed SLURPS (but not in real life), APLOMB, a word which we all should use more regularly, and DREAMON.

MOTETS and HYMNS gives a little mini-music theme, while it's clever to put LIBRA and ARIES right next to each other.

- Colum

Monday, April 25, 2022

Monday, April 25, 2022, Li Ding

Happy Monday to everyone! I had the enjoyable experience of jury duty this morning. I was not selected, so I'm off the hook for another 6 years. I brought along my iPad and passed a couple of minutes solving today's puzzle, only to find out that my volume was on high, announcing to everyone when I'd solved it. Hee hee.

So... today's puzzle was cute: three well known individuals one real, and two created for the purposes of advertising, associated with food, and who have military titles. Because of this, they could be in a FOODFIGHT! It turns out that GENERALTSO did not create the recipe associated with his name (which would more accurately be transliterated as Zuo Zongtang). He lived from 1812-1885. Thanks Wikipedia.

I am more of a fan of CAPNCRUNCH than COLONEL / SANDERS. Although some of the recent advertisements have been amusing.


The corners of the grid are bigger than expected for a Monday, but the answers are all fair. I particularly liked LAGGARD, OCEANIA, ALADDIN, ALPACAS, and NAIVETE. Those are some fine 7-letter answers.

JSBACH will always be in my list of top composers of all time. 

Nothing much more to say here. A fine and smooth Monday puzzle that I finished in 2:37, tied for my fastest time. But more importantly, Phoebe my daughter finished today in 3:34! A worthy challenger arises.

- Colum

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Sunday, April 24, 2022, Sam Ezersky


Good morning to all! I've been somewhat absent from crosswording this past week, as things were very busy round here. Work was crazy, multiple rehearsals for concerts this weekend... you get the picture.

So I felt a little slow as I pored over this Sunday grid. Or was it Mr. Ezersky and his clever cluing? Either way, this puzzle took much much longer than a typical Sunday for me. Was it that way for you also?

There are eight theme answers, with one broken into two parts. The theme is simply adding -ET to the end of standard phrases, and cluing the resulting new phrases wackily. I love 48A: Today's plans: watchin' someone's kids? (SITTINONTHEDOCKET). It's perfect how the verb in the original phrase becomes a gerund noun in the actual answer. The exasperated WHATMAKES / YOUTICKET is laugh out loud funny.

APPLEJACKET and DARNSOCKETS are more neutral for me, while WATSONANDCRICKET is just silly. Pretty fun theme, which took me way to long to cotton on to.

LEGO Batman

Just a little insight into the difficult cluing today:

1A: Make a bust, say (SCULPT) - oof. What a great start!

72A: Happy companion (DOC) - nice hidden capital there! Took me a long time.

89A: Pie slices might be displayed in one (CHART) - didn't actually fool me, but I was stuck on grAph.

17D: Line on a neck (FRET) - just didn't see what they were getting at.

Some nice words also with XYLEM, BERNIEBRO, MERCH, and RICOTTA.

A fun tough puzzle, nice to see on a Sunday. 

- Colum

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Saturday, April 23, 2022, Matthew Stock

Greetings and good morning, dear Readers! My Saturday is off to a fine start, not least because I have successfully completed today's gridpportunity 12 minutes faster than my average time. Huzzah! Also, TGIF - sort of. No work for Frannie today, which is ULTRA nice, although I confess I did experience a brief SPASM when I read the clue, "What's spread on a spreadsheet" (DATA). Also, Wordle in 3 today! All things considered, I am sticking a feather in my cap and calling it MACARONI

Generally speaking, I thought today's clues varied a FRERE amount in difficulty, from the super-easy-for-this-solver like "1978 hit whose title is spelled out in its chorus" (YMCA) and "Online seller of specialty crafts" (ETSYSHOP) to the trickier "They can have you going the wrong way" (HEADFAKES), not to mention one from my new Achilles heel category: rapper names - LILMO, this time. But the feature of the puzzle I found slowed me down the most was one I associate with my esteemed co-blogger Colum Amory  points out: separate sections that function almost like mini puzzles on their own. I'd work my way through one corner, like the southwest, only to find that a TOLLPLAZA was my one only route to the next. Really not much to MOANA about, but a factor in degree of difficulty.

The bottom left corner was the most difficult for me. It contained today's Waffle Spot®, which came at 47D: "Thing: Sp." I thought of COSA right away, but then I thought, "no, that's Italian ... or is it?" It's trouble when all the Romance languages in my head start to MERGE. Also in that corner, for the "Peter Pan competitor" thinking of bus lines rather than peanut butter (JIF) slowed me down. Also, I had zipIT for "'That's enough out of you!'" even though I heard the correct CANIT from my parents often enough in my youth. :)

Several of the shorter C/APs in the puzzle had the trickiest clues, like "Off the mark?" for ERASE, "Much" for FAR, "Drove" for LED, "Fix" for PIN, and "Right on" for APT - apt! There were a couple of clues that amused but didn't fool me including "Something of miner interest" (ORE) and "Gram alternative" (NANA). One that did surprise me was FANTA for "Orange refreshment." Old school. I enjoyed the shout out to DISCGOLF - fun!

It's the end of my review week, so I'll make my "Departure announcement" and leave you in the more erudite and speedy hands of the doctor. BYE!


Friday, April 22, 2022

Friday, April 22, 2022, Daniel Sheremeta

Horace started the puzzle this morning while I was still looking at Wordle and I suffered a pang of dismay when he announced that he had run through most of the clues and had only the name of a poet to show for it. However, the dread came to nought as I zipped through this fun and fast Friday. I was able to drop in several answers like LIBIDO, MORSE - because what else could it be? - CERBERUS, and, believe it or not, BOGGS. And as I zipped, I very much enjoyed the bonanza of entertaining QMCs and ambiguous C/APs. Here are my favorite funny ones:
"Cheap trick, perhaps" (LIFEHACK) - apt!
"Decreases?" (IRONS) - ha! 
"Biblical figure with a large staff" (MOSES) - LOL.

I also enjoyed the trixy ones like "Drawing method" (LOT), "Regulation followers, for short" (OTS), "Holds up" (LASTS), "Turn" (GOBAD), and "Track, say" (SONG).


I did hit a couple of snags along the way, including trying ONEtoONE where ONEONEONE was wanted ("Dealing directly (with)") and skiING instead of TUBING ("Winter slopes activity") before I finally NAILEDIT.

The two grid-spanning answers BARENECESSITIES and PHOTOSYTHESIZE were nice. Fill-wise I liked word MOSEY and TINGE. On the other hand, call me an OLDSOUL if you want, but I prefer 'knelt' to KNEELED.

IMARET here, dear Readers, for this review is late enough as it is. My work has been getting in the way of me living my best life. I hope to do better tomorrow. See YULES then. 


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Thursday, April 21, 2022, Max Chen Lauring

Totally awesome SOLAR ECLIPSE theme today in which the letters [SUN] are "eclipsed" by a black square - like a rebus with a twist! Until you realize what's going on, a lot of one's desired answers seem far too long for the available spaces, but this, of course, is what eventually gives the game away. The pair I liked the best, and the one that helped me discover the hidden SUN was MIS[SUN]IVERSE/SAY[SUN]CLE, but I also enjoyed NES[SUN]DORMA ("Puccini aria popularized by Pavarotti"). The app I use to solve the NYTX showed a nifty giffy graphic of a solar eclipse in the four squares that hid the SUN once I completed the puzzle. 

A couple of clues I thought had particular flare were "Plant watcher, for short" (OSHA) and "Brief second?" (ASST) - ha! I also thought the parallax at 5 and 6 Down was neat: "Ukrainian, for one" (SLAV) and "Neighbor of a Ukrainian" (POLE). It was fun to witness the return of EFTS and ERNE. Thanks to XWord Info's fabulous clue finder I see that the former last appeared six months ago, but the latter, except for a very recent Sunday puzzle, hasn't been seen since 2019! Another once-in-a-blue-moon entry is EOLIAN. Less rare, but fun, is SPRIG


Not all is star dust and earthshine in the puzzleverse, however. This solver hit the occasional dark spot. Nothing of great magnitude, but a cluster of C/APs , including "Like the '5' of '5&10'" (LESSER), "Thumbs up from me!" (ILIKE), "'Only joking!', to a texter" (SIKE), and "Incessantly" (NOEND) could have used a little more sparkle.

However, it's not my inclination to wax negative. The theme brightened a day of work-based drudgery and now it's time for a Corona. :)


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Wednesday, April 20, 2022, Joseph Greenbaum

Today's puzzle includes four aptly named persons vis-à-vis their realm of celebrity. Our dear Readers will know that if there's one thing I like, its aptitude - or rather, aptness. Funny how those two words could mean the same thing but don't. Ahh, language. But I digress. The theme answers are indeed aptly named persons, with PRINCEFIELDER (six-time All-Star first baseman) winning the "captegory," thanks to the contribution of his first name. Although, if memory serves, there are some who call powerful enchanters TIM. USAINBOLT is also fitting. 

Overall, I found the puzzle to be fairly straight forward, although I did hit a snag. A combination of clues and miscues in the southeast caused me to FLAKE. The clues 48A: "Football carriers: Abbr." (?) and 64A: "Legally prohibit" (?) initially stumped me and I had the S of SEEYA in the second to last square of the answer to "More than right" which led me to try to think of a superlative rather than what should have been a comparative - had the clue not had a little twist - you get the picture. Anyhoo, if I had been a little less OBTUSE (or in this case more?), I could have finished the puzzle a couple of minutes faster. 


There were some other nice twisty clues along with the one mentioned above, including "Hold up" for ROB, "Shake, as a tail" (LOSE) - I didn't have trouble with this one during the solve, but after the fact I was like, 'whaa?' and then I was like 'oh, yeah, ha!' - and "Digging" for INTO. I also enjoyed "Mist a spot?" (SPRAY), and "Apple consumer with an unhappy story to tell?" (ADAM) was cute. Shout out to good ole EEYORE and his quote "It's not much of a tail, but I'm sort of attached to it." :) PRISTINE and TWINKLES are fun fill. 

I thought it was funny to see PLUSONES in the puzzle again today. I like it less in the plural, for some reason - ditto ENOKIS. And would any of the world's great writers have ever WAXED poetic over LASE as a verb? Certainly not Wordsworth.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Tuesday, April 19,2022, Olivia Mitra Framke

The puzzle has a striking theme today, featuring, as theme answers, things that can strike/do strike/have struck (?) including BOWLINGBALL, MIDNIGHT, LIGHTNING, EMPLOYEE, and, the one I like best, INSPIRATION

A couple of the more inspired clues were "Get in the game?" (ANTE) and "Place for a fork ... or a jackknife? (ROAD) - ha! I also enjoyed "Wedding guest's partner, say" (PLUSONE). I also liked the pair of pairs: SEA and MOANA, and the Xcellent EXPIATE and EXPEL. Fill-wise my faves were CHUM, DEFT, VELOUR, and MIRAGE. The only thing I found AMISS was TRYNA. It's not as if I don't enjoy SLANG - I am a subscriber to the Urban Dictionary Word a Day, after all - but it seems more like a kludge than a NEWTAKE
I'll conclude with a hopefully vague-enough-to-not-be-a-true-spoiler-alert: today's puzzle contains another NYTX / Wordle crossover event. Whaaaa? I usually do Wordle before I do the puzzle, but I may start switching that up and taking puzzle words as inspiration for my Wordle starter words. Genius!


Monday, April 18, 2022

Monday, April 18, 2022, Carl Larson

Carl Larson is playing it LOOSE today with all kinds of things. One must put the circled letters from the ENDS of each theme answer to find out what: CHANGE (CHALLENGE) and LIPS (LIQUICAPS) to name just two. 

I've always enjoyed the word TOTAL for "Completely wreck." I am less enamored of TOTAL's next door neighbor ABACI. Then, things got better again with PEKOE and EYEROLL. I should probably ANNUL the word-by-word review for everyone's SAKE.  🙄

Although I had no real trouble with the puzzle I did have a Waffle Spot® at 35A: "Fuss in front of a mirror." Without checking the Downs (as I sometimes lazily don't early in the week), the answer could have been PRimp or PREEN, so I typed in the initial PR and left the end loose - so to speak. It AOL came out right in the end.

Clue-wise, I liked "Sings out with a lot of power" (BELTS). Fill-wise, I enjoyed LULU and BUNDT. Also amusing was HANDY right next to ANDIE. But the answer I liked best today was TOLLBOOTH, which reminds me of my favorite book of all time: "The Phantom Tollbooth."

I sometimes wonder what Edgar ALLAN Poe would make of the popularity of his name with today's crossword constructors. Perhaps he would have written enjoyed it enough to write ANODE to puzzles while in REHAB. Too much?

Well, I think that WRAPSUP today's review, dear Readers. ICU tomorrow!


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Sunday, April 17, 2022, Emet Ozar


Happy Easter! 

I always looked forward to the egg hunt at our house. We'd dye hard-boiled eggs a day or two before, then Dad would hide them all over the downstairs rooms. We'd wait on the top of the stairs until given the ok, then run down and scramble around looking under chairs, behind pillows, on the piano... some of the hiding places we had come to expect - like the one that would be placed in a lamp where the bulb had been taken out, or the one on the windowsill behind the curtains... good times. So anyway, this puzzle was right up my alley.

I especially like how the rebusses turn into colored eggs when you solve online, but then they end up looking very strange - L[EGG]OMY[EGG]O (Breakfast brand tagline) for instance, looks kind of like "L0OMY0O." 

A fun thing about a rebus theme is that it essentially gives a puzzle that feels themeless, and you get nice entries like BOOTL[EGG]ER, R[EGG]AEBAND, and K[EGG]ERS without having to tie them together with anything more than shared letters. 

And we also get fun extras like PENCILMOUSTACHE (Apt facial hair for a teacher?), BRAINSTORMS (Things that might get written down on sticky notes), AWORKOFART (Something intricately detailed and impressive). 

I haven't been on an egg hunt in many years, so this was a fun bit of nostalgia. 

It's been another fun week of puzzles. Frannie takes over tomorrow. Happy Puzzling!

- Horace

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Saturday, April 16, 2022, Hemant Mehta

I can hardly believe I finished this puzzle. When I first started, I felt that dread that comes sometimes with late-week puzzles, but I threw in a bunch of guesses - Desoto (Famed Portuguese explorer (DAGAMA)), lemonadE (Summer cooler (SNOWCONE)), Esta ("De dónde ____?" (Spanish 101 query) (ERES)) ... until finally I hit one I was fairly sure was right - "The heart of Paris" was five letters, and "Seine" would have fit, but it's Saturday, so it just had to be COEUR. From that single O I entered shOrtSHORTS, which, after entering BIDON (Try to win, in a way) and ROhaN (1998 Robert De Niro crime thriller (RONIN)), I corrected to BOOTYSHORTS. Later on, BAMBOO and PANDA gave me something to work with in the South, and slowly I worked my way back up to the top.

CLOVER (Good luck with that!)

I ended up in the NE corner, where I had "tsarists" instead of PEASANTS (Russian Revolution figures) (opposite!) crossing "fist" instead of CAIN (Something that might be raised in a fight). I also tried "duke" in that spot... Finally, somehow, I got TALKIES (Silent counterparts, once), which gave me SKA (Forerunner of rocksteady) (that shouldn't have taken so long!), and then the highly amusing ONLAND (Where cruise passengers end up). Hah. That still makes me laugh, but maybe it's just that I'm still a little punchy for having finished this thing. 

It took me over half an hour, but it was a satisfying struggle. If this had been Puzzle Five I would have timed out, but I'm not in Stamford at a long table, I'm on my couch on a quiet Saturday morning, and (now that I've finished it I can say that) this is just what a Saturday puzzle should be. Terrifying, but workable. I could hardly believe it when GOTTACATCHEMALL (Line of Pokémon) came out, cobweb-covered, from deep in my memory.

So, for me anyway, it was a solidly satisfying Saturday. How'd you like it?

- Horace

Friday, April 15, 2022

Friday, April 15, 2022, Trenton Charlson

A fun, X-filled Friday from Trenton Charlson! That NW corner's got six of them - and three Ys! I was a little slow to catch on up there, because I had guessed Rex instead of ROY, and "dronecam" for "Means of supervision?" instead of XRAYEYES. But the "Kisses and hugs" eventually gave it away. :)


In addition to the Xs, there was a lot of reduplication today - YOOHOO, YOHOHO, ALLINALL, TAKETEN, OLIVEOYL, ARMYNAVY... well, maybe they're not all TEXTBOOKEXAMPLEs of reduplication, but there's something to it, no? How about TARTARE? Great clue for that one, too - "Rarer than rare." Lovely. Not to eat, mind you. Unless it's tuna. Tuna is fine. Not beef. ... Where was I?

Also included today is a micro-theme of the OSLO Accords and Yasser ARAFAT. The other two who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 were Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. Peres, incidentally, is sometimes called the "Father of Israel's atomic bomb." Rabin for his part in the peace accords, was assassinated the following year by a religious fanatic. 

I don't know about you, but I always have trouble remembering how to spell PYRENEES. I had two Ns in there today, but luckily, E. A. POE came to my rescue (Who wrote "All that we see or seem / Is but a dream within a dream." I learned that particular quote from the "Talking Moose," a lovely little computer program that we had running on our old Macintosh SE30. The moose would say different things at different times, and he always said something when you shut down the computer. Sometimes it was "Shut the hell down," (which Frannie and I still say quite often), and sometimes it was poetry. Ahh... the good old early computer ERA ...

One small thing - I don't see the NAVE as "One end of the narthex." From all the diagrams I can find, if the NAVE is one end, the other end is the cathedral's front steps.

ALLINALL, though, I thought it was a HOOT.

- Horace

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Thursday, April 14, 2022, Ashish Vengsarkar and Narayan Venkatasubramanyan

It's Thursday and, as usual, we have trickery! Today's revealer answers "Thoroughly ... or a hint for parsing some lower case letters in four of this puzzle's clues" with FROMSTEMTOSTERN. And if that were not enough, we also have the "M" in stem and the "RN" in stern circled. The idea, as you will have by now discovered, is to replace "m" with "rn" in the four clues. Depending on your eyesight, you might have seen the words as if they already included the rn, which is what Frannie said happened to her with SCOTTISHPOET. She had a lot of the answer from the crosses, so she filled it in and figured out the trick that way. Me, I had most of WHATAGOODBOYAMI, but I was reluctant to fill it in all the way because at first I thought there might be some slight change that would make the phrase applicable to the great epic poet. But no, with the substitution, it really is Little Jack Horner, not Homer, who is quoted.

I had several missteps along the way today, including NOSEring (NOSESTUD (Certain facial decoration)), OneSOCK (ODDSOCK (Laundry leftover)), and most insidiously, for me, PAYcAP (PAYGAP (Discriminatory compensation practice)). Now that I think of it, a pay cap might actually be anti-discriminatory, but while I was solving I was so sure it was right that I was willing to accept that I had just never heard of a LUc nut. (LUG (Kind of nut)). [eyeroll]

So I liked the theme, but I'd like to DING a few non-theme things. For one thing, the way I think of "snafu" does not align with the way I think of TELLS in poker. It just seems a little grandiose. I'd say I was AGASP (Sounding shocked), but no one ever says that, so I won't. :) 

On the whole, though, I'd say this was a fun start to the tum. ... er, the Turn. 

- Horace

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Wednesday, April 13, 2022, Rebecca Goldstein

Today we learn that the game PAPER, ROCK, SCISSORS is also known as ROSHAMBO. Perhaps you already knew this, but I didn't. We also get a visual representation of the game in which the ROCK has prevailed - in the upper left, we see a circled-letter PA PER cut in half, in the upper right is a broken pair of SCIS SORS, and at the bottom of the grid sits the intact ROCK. It's a cute idea, well-done.


The game was known in China several centuries ago, I have read, and it made its way to Japan, before coming to America. Perhaps the references to Japan in the puzzle (PANKO (Breading for tonkatsu), ASIA (Mt. Fuji setting), and ASAHI (Popular Japanese brew)) are in honor of this history. Or, perhaps, along with LOCHS (Awe and Tay, for two), LAPAZ (South American capital with the world's longest urban gondola), EID (Festival, in Arabic), MASA (Tortilla dough), and IMPERIAL (Like Rome starting in the first century B.C.) they are a mini-theme to go along with GEOTAG (Bit of metadata). Or maybe my NEATIDEA is MISPLACEd.

I chuckled when I finally corrected ahA to SPA (Therein lies the rub!), and GENOME (Nuclear codes?) was cute. I also had rAincoat briefly for GALOSHES (Wet weather wear), but that didn't last long.

The starting pair of "'That's good' thinking" (OPTIMISM) and "That's good thinking!" (NEATIDEA) was fun, as was the "One to tip" combo (SERVER, VALET). I didn't know CHOI, ROBBIE, or TERI, but that's not too surprising, and the crosses were all fair.

Fun idea for a theme, and a solid (like the ROCK, get it?) Wednesday. Looking forward to the Turn.

- Horace

p.s. I guess ROCK really doesn't win this one, because each circled item is "beaten" by another word in the grid. In the case of ROCK, it is covered by PAPER. In the morning, I missed this added touch of elegance. Very nice.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Tuesday, April 12, 2022, Dan Schoenholz

Work, work, work. Today we get four specific jobs, punnily described using generic labels. The vague "Temp job?" humorously describes a METEOROLOGIST, and the ubiquitous "Union job?" labels a WEDDINGPLANNER. It's a clever RUSE, and each one brought a smile. 

DICE (Why were these ever popular?)

Don't you just sometimes get a good feeling about a puzzle from the clues? Today, they showed a clever playfulness - "Driving force?" (ENGINE), "One might take off a few marks" (ERASER), "What may be heard in a herd" (MOOING), and "Works in a theater" (PLAYS), for example. Then there are the interesting choices like "'Music is powered by ____': Yo-Yo Ma" (IDEAS) and "Spanish for 'foolish'" (TONTO). It could have just been "Thoughts" and "Lone Ranger sidekick," but these are so much more interesting. And we also get a nice shout-out to one of the great puzzle constructors, Frank LONGO. :)

Of course, we also get "Petri dish filler" (AGAR) and "Some lab liquids" (SERA), but one can't have everything, and I ASPIRE to one day creating a puzzle half as fun as this one.

- Horace


p.s. So, yesterday, if you follow Joon Pahk's "Outside the Box Puzzles" in any way, you might have seen an announcement saying that I won a free premium subscription by being randomly chosen from among the correct entries on a recent meta puzzle of his. In fact, it might be why you're here now (Thanks again for mentioning the blog, Joon!), but either way, I'd like to set the record straight and say that it was a team effort. I filled in the grid, but it was Frannie who broke the meta-puzzle trick. So thanks again, Frannie! Hopefully, we'll work on all the new puzzles together too. :)

Monday, April 11, 2022

Monday, April 11, 2022, Rachel Simon

Did you PICKUP the theme while solving? I sure didn't, but I enjoy the set of words that can follow PICKUP - lines, games, trucks, and sticks. Very nice. 


I liked KEEPOUT (Sign on a moody teen's door) and COLOGNE appearing side-by-side (although COLOGNE and teen-agers should not be mixed in real life), BLOSSOMED (Came into one's own) is nice, and TOETAP (Keep time with the foot) was unusual.

I'm OVER, entries like OAST (Brewer's kiln), ASPS, ADMAN, ANAL, and OTO, but I understand that they're often required to allow the good stuff.

So back to the good stuff we go - TADA clued as a "Cousin of 'Voilà!" was cute, and SHEAF is an unusual (and, often, therefore good) entry. Frannie particularly enjoyed DRY (Like some humor and wine), and the misleading "Record holder" for SLEEVE reminded me of a lovely experience I had last week - I went into a record store selling used vinyl to look for a birthday gift for a friend with a turntable. Flipping through the albums in their "recent acquisitions" was like being transported back in time. Zep Two was playing in the store, the records themselves were an eclectic  mix of 70s, 80s, and 90s titles, and even the motor skill of flipping through them one-by-one with my fingers felt distantly familiar. I know this is an old person's old argument, but something lovely was lost when music moved from LPs to CDs and then to nothing but air.

Anyway, that's my rant and I'm sticking to it. Solid Monday. See you tomorrow!

- Horace

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Sunday, April 10, 2022, David W. Tuffs


Interesting anagramming going on in the theme answers today. Each one is a valid entry as it is, but the second word in each has to be re-ordered to make the clue work. For instance MOVIETROPES is clued with "Bit of cinema décor," and if you anagram "tropes" into "poster" it makes sense. The hardest one for me, amusingly, was MENTALLAPSE (Advances in a baby's cognitive development), which had to be anagrammed to "mental leaps."


Was it just me, or did it seem like there were a lot of -Y words today. MIRY, BULGY, DITSY, GLITCHY, TAFFY, WOODY. Not a complaint, mind you, just an observation.

I loved "March madness figure?" for HARE (Alice in Wonderland reference). "It has cameras set up around the House" (CSPAN) and "Quickly join hands?" (CLAP) were both strong, and "Blind sight" (SLAT) shows a fun appreciation for language. But me, I'd ban Will Smith from the puzzle for ten years, too, even if it means leaving out answers like JADEN.

Some mythological entries - EYGYPTIAN (Like Hathor, goddess of motherhood), HERA (Female figure in the "Iliad"), ARES (God with a helmet), AESIR (Norse pantheon), and CRETE (Birthplace of Zeus), and a smattering of names - ADRIANA (Supermodel Lima), EMILE (Novelist Zola), OSSIE (Actor/activist Davis), IRINA (The third of Chekhov's "Three Sisters") - might have required crosses for some, but nothing seemed unfair.

I really enjoyed this one. 

- Horace

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Saturday, April 9, 2022, Sam Buchbinder

Goodness me, it seems like the themeless puzzles have definitely upped the ante this week. Both yesterday's and today's gave me serious difficulties. Glad to hear that yesterday wasn't just me, but was today's difficult for you as well?

Let's talk about the wrong moves I made first. I had CEN___ at 9D: Gathering that occurs once per decade (CENSUSDATA) - such a lovely clue - and I slapped in CENtennial. Wrong. Very wrong. Took a while to pull that one out. 

Also, at 11A: Some radio announcements, in brief (APBS), I had psaS. Not an incorrect answer to the clue this time, but not the right response. That made the NW corner my last area to fall.

I had Michael CERe (?!) for a while. That was just a typo. The only "Land on the Med." that starts with E that I could think of was Egypt, and there was no way that would work. When I fixed it, I first put in ALb before correcting to ALG.

Finally, I spelled KAFTAN with a C for a little while. Acceptable, but not what they were looking for.

Hard to imagine Walken as a KGB Bond character

But enough about me! What was good in this puzzle?

How about 31A: Huffing and puffing, e.g. (GERUNDS)? Excellent. 37A: Bishop's group (RATPACK) refers to Joey Bishop, probably the least well known member of the eponymous group that was better known for Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.

I love 21A: Amoeba feature (SILENTO). How many times will I fall for this? I had SI____O and had to get almost all the crosses to see it. 13D: What you find kitsch in (BADTASTE) is brilliant.

35D: Rule that's often broken (IBEFOREE) might be my favorite of all. There's a great example of an answer that gives you a real "Aha!" moment when it comes to you.

The only answer I raised an eyebrow at was SAWERS, but we need bits like that to make the rest work, so I'm okay with it.

Great week! Metapuzzle time: which picture doesn't fit this week, and why? The answer might be controversial.

- Colum

Friday, April 8, 2022

Friday, April 8, 2022, Caitlin Reid

Wow, I had difficulty with this puzzle! Not due to any fault of Ms. Reid's or her constructing prowess. As usual, she has provided a clean and smooth themeless grid. But the cluing and my dull brain this morning contributed to a longer than expected solve.

I found entry in the middle North section, where even 8D: Pacific Coast capital (LIMA) didn't trip me up. CAMECLEAN is a lovely answer, and I loved 21A: Expert problem solver (MATHLETE). I couldn't easily exit the corner however, and so moved down to the SE corner.

Here 35D: Former center of Los Angeles (ONEAL) also did not confuse me for a second, but even with LOOSE and ANNIE in place below, I couldn't get the longer down answers and had to move on, once again!

My favorite version of ANNIE

The SW corner was fun, with the tricky clue 63A: Characters on some foundations (SPF) - that's makeup, not cornerstones - as well as 51D: Makes purr, maybe (REVS) - not "pets." I knew that 54A: Raw footage? (NUDESCENE) was going in that direction, but had but in EvadE for ELUDE. I should know better. Once that was corrected, the corner fell into place.

42A: Boost someone's signal, in a way (RETWEET) was also tricky, but now I was able to fill the middle. I finally got 36A: This isn't what it looks like! (OPTICALILLUSION), finished the NE corner, and set to work on the NW corner.

22A: Sign of fall (SCORPIO) is such a classic Friday clue, I should have figured it out earlier. But 3D: Safety net? (TWOPOINTS) - referring to the defensive scoring play in American Football, is incredible cluing.

Finally I finished the SE corner. 49D: Toddler's eruption (MOLAR) was also not at all what I was thinking of, and I'm ashamed to say that I didn't even think of music when answering 38D: Increment on a scale (SEMITONE) until it was forced on me.

What a great and challenging Friday themeless!

- Colum

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Thursday, April 7, 2022, Lucy Howard and Ross Trudeau

At first, while working through the NE corner, I wondered if it might be "Talk Like a Pirate Day!" I was faced with YOHO, BOOTY, and 23D: Treasure buried in the hills (ORES), not to mention 23A: "Roger that" (OKEYDOKE). Sort of like a Jolly Roger, I guess. 

But no. That particular day doesn't come around until September. And when I filled in 3D: Moonshine container (WHIS[KEY]JUG), I realized we were dealing with something to do with turning a key. So the revealer at 48A: Jailers ... or a hint to "unlocking" four answers in this puzzle (TURNKEYS) wasn't too much of a surprise.

The other three unlocked answers are MON[KEY]PAW, TUR[KEY]DAY, and DON[KEY]KONG. Which reminds me of old riddles about what has keys but can't open doors? See above.

Another thing I'm reminded of in this puzzle comes from 6D: Stuffed Jewish dish (KISHKA). Does anyone else remember the Seinfeld episode where George's father suddenly reveals that he's a master Jewish chef? 

Marisa TOMEI

I enjoyed MCJOB, a surprise answer, as well as DECOCT. JADA Pinkett Smith felt very on topic from recent Oscar related events.

Finally, I'll acknowledge the constructors representation for LGBT issues, by cluing EMMASTONE with Billie Jean King, as well as the adjacent METROsexual and talking about how flags are FLOWN.

- Colum

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Wednesday, April 6, 2022, Damon Gulczynski

One of the great things about going to the Crossword Puzzle Tournament is getting a chance to meet the constructors. Mr. Gulczynski checked me in when I arrived Friday night. It's a funny little frisson to lay eyes on people you've gotten to know through their work, in this fairly small world of crosswording. Someone pointed out to me that it's not as small as I might think: apparently 28 million people are doing Wordle every day; likely a fair proportion are also doing the crossword. However, only 500 showed up to Stamford, so that's pretty small.

I love this puzzle. What a great idea to use those qualifying words we see so frequently in crossword puzzle clues in the place of the old "e.g," but by removing the COMMA, make it seem like they're not qualifying. Talk about TRICKERY! The reveal is highlighted by the excellent clue at 74A: Punctuation mark missing in "Let's eat people!" (at least one would hope!).

Thus, 1A: *Leave briefly (VACAY) is really meant to be "leave, briefly," or a short way of saying "vacation." The others play on "say," "for one," and "frequently." 41A: *All for one (LAUNDRYDETERGENT) is simply brilliant. How completely the meaning changes with that added comma! I don't love the answer COURSEEXAM. I'm not sure what would have worked better, but it's really a small complaint.


Some other nice things in this better than typical Wednesday include things like the casual phrases TOBEFAIR and THATSODD. I also enjoyed the presence of TWEEDLEDUM. I had to leave the last two letters blank for a little bit to be certain I had the right one!

Tough clue at 16A: Mystical character (RUNE). I tried gUru at first, and then had to fill in everything with crosses once I'd taken out the wrong letters. I didn't expect that kind of character! Also a nice gendered misdirect with 30D: Some playground attendants (DADS). I recall those days with some fair degree of nostalgia.

- Colum

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Tuesday, April 5, 2022, Bruce Haight

Funnily enough, we were just talking about Dr. Haight during the Crossword Puzzle Tournament this past weekend. Horace mentioned how he'd given a less than stellar review to one of the good doctor's puzzles, and was told to lighten up. I recalled speaking with him in person at the first tournament I went to.

Well, here we are again, and as is usual with his puzzles, lightening up isn't hard to do. The revealer comes at 60A: Comment before a stupid stunt ... or a hint to the ends of 17-, 25-, 36- and 50-Across (HOLDMYBEER). I did not see this coming! Beautifully, each of the aforementioned answers's second word is an ever increasing size of container that is used to hold beer, moving from glass to pitcher to case and finally to barrel.

Also each answer is using those words in a sense which does not mean a container. BLOWNGLASS is an artform typically not used to hold liquids. An ACEPITCHER comes from baseball, while a SPACECASE may be said to be holding literally nothing at all. Finally, a PORKBARREL is a lovely idiom from government. Nicely done!

He's a GERMANE ACTOR (well actually Austrian)

I found the puzzle harder going than typical for a Tuesday. I'm going to freely blame this difficulty on the fact that I had a tooth extracted yesterday and am recovering. Also, I entered POPTopS at 29D: Soda can features (POPTABS). So my PORKpARcEL didn't make a ton of sense.

Ah well. Glad it wasn't during the ACPT...

I'd say other reasons the puzzle played harder than expected included the larger corners, with CLOMPED instead of stOMPED, old-timer EDMEESE, no longer used ZIPFILE and challenging ECOTEUR. Nothing wrong with any of these answers, mind you.

- Colum

Monday, April 4, 2022

Monday, April 4, 2022, Derek J. Angell

What, two blog posts in less than 12 hours? What is going on here? I'll tell you what. After an invigorating weekend of crosswording and a highly encouraging conversation with Mr. Will Shortz, I feel inspired again. Maybe we'll keep on doing this another 10 years!

For Mr. Angell's second published crossword in the NYT, we get a dinosaur themed puzzle, where each one is clued by what its name means when translated from the original Latin or Greek. My all time favorite, TRICERATOPS is the third one. The reason why is that in the Boston Museum of Science, there was a lifesize model of the creature. Sure there was a TREX as well (and it rose up two stories), but the cute "little" guy with the horns and hard bony frill seemed much more friendly.

It used to be inside

This also reminds me of the time when my daughter Phoebe came home from kindergarten, an AVID dinosaur enthusiast, and announced that her third grade reading buddy was okay, but she didn't know how to pronounce "paleontologist."

Some fun fill here, with MRFIXIT and MADONNA. For some reason I misread the clue for "the Queen of Pop" as suggesting that she was "one-eyed" rather than "one-named..."

And how about 71A: A buck or two? (DEER) - hah!

A fine and straightforward Monday puzzle, just how we like 'em.

- Colum

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sunday, April 3, 2022, Byron Walden


Apologies for the late blog post today, folks. It was a great Sunday, finishing off the ACPT with a down to the wire final between Tyler Hinman and Dan Feyer, with Tyler winning by under 30 seconds. A great final puzzle had us all astounded by the cleverness of the clues.

I really had a great time meeting up with folks, and meeting new folks, as outlined in our special report from yesterday. Philbo, it was a real pleasure to hang out with you all weekend, and compare notes on the puzzles. I may have beaten you by a tiny amount, but you destroyed puzzle 5!

Meanwhile, today's puzzle is a fine Sunday, where each theme answer fits the pattern of S____ of T____, thus "soft" as in the title. I love SEAOFTRANQUILITY and STARSOFTOMORROW the best. SHROUDOFTURIN running down the middle also crosses the first ever seen entry JESUSLIKE

The puzzle is nicely chunky with large areas of white. The way Mr. Walden has parceled out the theme answers (eight of them) by having three go downwards allows for more play in the fill.

Some answers I liked coming across included NEOSOUL, RADARTRAP (better here than in real life, am I right?), and GEYSERED.


But of course my favorite answer of all today came at 22A. I just don't quite understand why Mr. Walden didn't clue it with "Author of the classic joke: What part of Canada is warm in the winter? Nunavut!" Created by Ms. CECE Amory at age 12 or so.

There aren't a ton of clever clues today, probably because the challenge was filling in all those white areas. I enjoyed 69A: It's probably over your head (ROOF), and 52D: Many people find it intolerable (LACTOSE). Hah!

I will look past answers like ARRS (tough to do it, but I promise I will!), and enjoy this start to the week.

- Colum

Saturday, April 2, 2022

ACPT SPECIAL REPORT, Saturday, April 2, 2022

Greetings! it's a HAFDTNYTCPFCA special report - live and direct from the Stamford Marriott!  

It's been EELY great spending time with all of our crossword friends, OREO "Squares" as we call them. Either there's an after image from staring at puzzles all day, or there's a preponderance of plaid this ANO.

Puzzle Five lived up to its CRED. Even though Will Shortz pretty much promised Colum that it would be easier this year, it was not. Not at all. A couple of us were left in the room after the time limit had passed, but we were by no means alone. Another among us twigged to the trick, but that was not nearly enough to accomplish a completed, correct puzzle. What can we say? It's the puzzle that separates the wheat from the chaff, and we know which one we are.

We've met some folks ANEW this year, and connected IRL with people we met virtually at last year's tournament. Shout out to Philbo, who is blowing the competition out of the water. PLUS, Colum has been sitting next to a first-time solver who is doing extremely well. We expect great things out of these individuals!

It's great to be here again. The ballroom is pretty much full - almost 500 contestants this year, we've heard. If we don't come down with COVID next week it'll be a miracle, but it's been well worth the risk. Ready the OBITs.

Currently, the three of us are recovering in the bar after a gruelling day of puzzles. I   *bzzt bzzt* Philbo here, co-opting the blog! That'll teach them to leave their laptop unattended... Great fun!  So nice to meet friends old and new.  One correction - last I checked, the competition is very much still in the water... *bzzt bzzt*

OK, we've gotten the laptop back now... I'll just sum up by saying again how nice it is to be back with our people. Now it's time to get some rest before the early start tomorrow. Thanks again, Mr. Shortz, the constructors, the officials, the hotel staff, and everyone who helps to make this tournament happen. Being here makes me believe we're starting to get back to real life again.

Good luck tomorrow everybody!

- Horace & Frances & Colum (& Philbo)

p.s. Here's another photo of us with Philbo. Note that Philbo is holding a trophy - one of two prizes he won over the course of the weekend!


Saturday, April 2, 2022, Kyle Dolan

Well, well, well. This is not the puzzle I wanted to do as a warm-up for the A.C.P.T., which begins in earnest in less than three hours. I guess I should be happy that I finished, but it took me 41 minutes, which is over the time limit for six of the seven tournament puzzles. Sheesh! But enough about me (it's Horace, btw, giving Frannie a break before the tournament starts), let's talk about this beast.

I know I already mentioned this in the review, but I love this coin, so here it is.

I love the open pinwheel of the grid, and the NW went very smoothly. CONSUL (Office held five times by Julius Caesar) and APOLLO (Program commemorated on the back of the Eisenhower dollar coin) went in off the clues, and the Downs followed quickly. (I chuckled at NOCAMERAS (Policy around the publicity-shy, say), because just last night a friend was disappointed by Josh Wardle's "No Ussies" policy.) The NE, too, fell NEATLY, the highlight being "Flushes, e.g., in poker" (TELLS). Clever!

In the middle are the fun SCHLEP (Lug) (I learned this word when I was a photographer's assistant - I did a lot of SCHLEPping back then!), the New-Englandy SCROD, the excellently-clued SPRAYTAN (Color not generated by light), and the LEARNED clue for ERSATZ (Literally, "substitute"). ISFAHAN (Capital of ancient Persia) was a complete unknown, and SPREZZATURA (The art of appearing effortlessly nonchalant) was pulled from the cobwebbed recesses of my mind. Or maybe I just got most of it through crosses and added an Italian ending...

The real trouble, for me, came in the SW, where PGA, PASTA, and SURESURE ("Whatever you say ..."), were not enough. I bet I spent twenty minutes on my final eight squares, finally guessing at ALLHEALS (Herbalists' panaceas) (SURESURE), then AURAL (Coming in waves, in a way) (wow), and finally seeing TEASERAD (Short hooking pitch). And "Congee" means GRUEL, eh? Well, I've learned a lot this morning. ONEDAY, maybe, this OLDIE will have the WIZARDRY necessary to avoid the DEATHRAYS and do a puzzle like this with an air of SPREZZATURA, but not today. Here's hoping things go better down in the ballroom of the Stamford Marriott. 

Good luck to everybody at the tournament today!

- Horace

Friday, April 1, 2022

Friday, April 1, 2022, Evan Mahnken

When I booted up the puzzle app today, I noticed the blinking info icon, so I took a look and saw the note: "This puzzle has four different solutions. When you're done, read the circled letters from top to bottom to find another one." I didn't think too much about it while solving the puzzle, but when Horace and I had both finished the puzzle, we discussed it. I found the puzzle kind of easy today (12:25), so I says to Horace, I says, I must have ended up with the easy solution. Horace started to ask what I had for various answers and after comparing several, we realized that we had everything the same. Then, came the AHA moment. The note said the puzzle had four different solutions, and it did - but solutions of the liquidy variety: MOUTHWASH, HANDSANITIZER, WINDOWCLEANER, and SALTWATER - that's four, unless SLURPEE also counts. :) And guess what - when you read the circled letters from top to bottom, you find A N O T H E R O N E. April Fool's!

There were all types of C/APs in today's grid. Some were surprisingly easy for a Friday puzzle ("Event with Easter eggs" (HUNT)), others were clever ("It may be perfect for writing" (TENSE)), still others were interesting ("First man, in Maori mythology" (TIKI)), several were nicely trixy like "Runs" for AIRS and "Drove" for ARMY, and some were apt ("Like many college film projects" (ARTY) - apt!


The puzzle had a few more acronyms and abbreviations than I like, especially in the mid-section (ISU, ENE, PSAS, LDS, HTML), but one or two like ATM ("Vegas machine with the best odds?") had amusing clues. Also, I usually think of a TYKE as a kid, but not necessarily a rascal, maybe that's just me. 

In other NEWSWORTHY news, Horace and I are en route to the 2022 ACPT even as I type. I look forward to seeing any and all of dear readers who are attending this year's event and conducting the tournament puzzle reviews IRL. Good luck everyone, and happy puzzling.