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


  1. Totally agree. I loved the cluing today. So tricksy!

  2. Enjoyed it lots -- and also loved the clues! Got 'way hung up in the SE area because I was so darn *sure* the "Shameless" airer was HBO...and I had the O'NEAL to back me up. Or so I thought. Had no idea about the plant -- HOSTA, as it turns out. Finally I looked at the clue again for "Shameless" and noticed the "for short" hint. Really nice puzzle!

  3. 100% it wasn't just you, Colum. I chewed on this delightful little piece o' gristle for a full 12:37 before it finally succumbed. Everything you said, basically. Was really struggling until OPTICALILLUSION and then things started clicking (sort of). Loved TWOPOINTS especially!