Monday, June 27, 2022

Monday, June 27, 2022, Drew Schmenner

Sincerest apologies to our readers for yesterday's confusion. I know how many of you rely on us for timely blogging. Horace hasn't said anything yet, but I expect a LATEFEE coming up soon. Turns out when you spend the weekend assisting your daughter in her move within Manhattan, little things like remembering that it's your day to start up blogging slip by.

Maybe I'll just pay Horace back by doing next Sunday's blog.

In any case, today, we get a lovely puzzle using the down answers for the theme. The revealer comes at 31D: What glows in the west at day's end ... or a hint to this puzzle's sequence of shaded squares (SETTINGSUN). It's beautifully managed, with the "sun" starting at the top and moving down three squares from east to west, finishing in the bottom three squares.

Also lovely: the word "sun" is well hidden in the non-revealer theme answers. Where possible (when it's in the middle of the phrase), it splits across two words, as in MISSUNIVERSE or MONKEYSUNCLE (love the clue here: Animal "relative" an astonished person may claim to be. Hah!). In the last example, it's hidden within SUNNIISLAM. Very nicely done.

I like that the two symmetric longer across answers are THEMESONGS and MUSICSCENE. That, along with IGOR Stravinsky, the ORGAN, and ELVIS's VIVA Las Vegas put me in the mood for some singing.

Otherwise, it's a very smooth and straightforward Monday, and a fine start to my seven days of blogging. Planned it all along.

- Colum


  1. Smooth indeed! I was very much flirting with a sub-2-minute finish time, but alas, I entered ITISI instead of ITSME and the subsequent bug hunt cost me a full 30 seconds. Oh well! There's a perceptual aspect to today's theme - I can't help seeing it as RISINGSUN, not SETTINGSUN.

  2. See my original comments for today's puzzle on last Saturday's page. Well, it makes sense that my hitherto undreamt of time of 10:34 was for today's puzzle and not for Sunday's. Still, I'm pretty happy that I made a couple of corrections before finishing: I had APEX before correcting it to ACME thanks to CHECKERS, and RUBON before correcting it to RUBIN thanks to SUNNIISLAM. As I mentioned before on the wrong comment thread, I enjoyed the beautiful symmetry of the shaded squares. Of course, being on the west coast of North America, I got SETTINGSUN without considering that RISINGSUN would also fit. Overall, it was a pleasing puzzle, period.

  3. A very gentle, sweet puzzle. I love that SUN is 3 letters, making nicely setting perfectly in the grid.

  4. Yes, this is a lovely, elegant Monday. I came in at a relaxed 6:04, which is a quick Monday for me. I thought the same as Philbo at first: we are so conditioned to read from left to right. But, on maps left is west and right is east, of course, so a setting sun should be dropping from right to left. Is it a coincidence that Elvis shows up in a puzzle with SUN (Records)?? I think not.

  5. Yes, this is a nice one, but I'm with Philbo - it's hard to get past the reading left to right thing.

    I finished in a speedy (for me) 3:26, which is probably a minute slower than Philbo's time with the 30 second correction. Sheesh!

    Still, it really is elegant and lovely.

    And Colum - I'm glad you're ok! I would have texted if I hadn't seen this Monday review appear very soon after the Sunday was published. And thanks for taking next Sunday! :)

  6. My first instinct was also to see the sun as rising, but there were enough answers and clues pointing to "the sun sets in the west" that I'm willing to buy it. Especially in the context of crossword blogs which talk about "the northwest corner", "the southeast corner" etc.

  7. Hey, this is the Internet! So why don't we engage in a vicious flame war over the sun rising vs. setting thing. One rule to make it interesting: no using the word "Nazi" until at least your third post :) :) :)