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


  1. Still catching up ... almost the neatest part of the ACPT was finishing adjacent to you in the final tally, Colum!! I just did the math and if I hadn't blown those two NW squares in puzzle 7, which I really shouldn't have, that'd have boosted my score by 230 and put me 20 places higher, in 69th. Shoulda woulda coulda! Still wouldn't have caught the #1 "foreigner".

    I too smiled (vicariously) at CECE. And I agree with your overall assessment, this was a pleasant smooth puzzle, not super challenging and no real sticky spots.

    1. Philbo - not to rub in any salt or anything, but there was also the little matter of a Z/C, and that's another 195. The way I figure it, if you had been clean on all 7, you would have been in 6th place in the C division - some 13 or 14 minutes off the podium. All I can shoot for is the handwriting trophy, but you have a real shot at getting up on that stage, it seems to me. :)

    2. Of course, if you get bumped up to Division B thanks to your performance this year, things will need to be re-calibrated...

    3. Oh yes, I had not forgotten about that Zed in #3. No amount of soul-searching, however, can convince me that I wouldn't have made that error every time, so I have to grudgingly concede those 195 points.

    4. Understood. I've been there myself. Sometimes, it's just like that.

      Still, here's hoping for clean puzzles all around next year!