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


  1. Yeah, definitely two challenging themelesses this week! The middle today took me quite a while.

    As for the meta - I'm going with T-Rex, as he's the only one that's not from a movie?

  2. Nice one, but I had a different idea in mind: one of these is not the antagonist in a film...