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


  1. Very tough! I too had shOrtSHORTS for a while. What broke it for me was getting DCBASED. I also liked RINKS for the NHL Jets and Sharks. Nicely done, with the recent remake of West Side Story fresh in our minds! Loved this one. 15:19.

  2. In the end, I enjoyed it but really struggled to get a foothold, which I thought I had with the erroneous HAUL INTO COURT that I stubbornly hung on to way too long. BOOTY SHORTS came easily enough, as did PANDA and BAMBOO. GEOCENTRIC ORBIT is totally out of my wheelhouse, but the crossers came in handy. Colum, 15:19??? Yikes! :-)

  3. Very tough for this solver, too, but I was, like Horace ultimately successful. Also like Horace, it took me over a half an hour to complete the puzzle, but in my case it was WAY over half an hour - 51:22. The most difficult part for me was the northeast corner. I can't believe DCBASED helped Colum break into that section because it is totally out of my wheelhouse - to quote esteemed commenter, Kelly Clark. :) If I hadn't remembered DAGAMA (eventually) and then simply guessed AVERY for "Actor James..." - which revealed the always surprising BITEME - I might never have finished the puzzle. Does anyone actually say "Bite me"? I also tried on shortSHORTS for shize before shaking them off for BOOTYSHORTS. ~Frannie.

  4. Late to the party here, but this one crushed me - and it may give one or two of you some satisfaction to read my time : 20:54. So much I didn't know in this one... ah well, live to solve another day ...