Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Wednesday, August 10, 2022, Karen Lurie

Can I just say how much I love today's theme? How Ms. Lurie reparses one phrase as a possible "answer" to three completely different "questions" and still makes it all fit within standard crossword symmetry is beautiful.

The revealer is WELLACTUALLY, clued as the opening to a what I imagine is some idiotic bit of mansplaining. But then, we have to reimagine the adverb "well" as the adjective "well," used differently in three different contexts. Do you want your steak MEDIUMRARE? "Well, actually." As it turns out, as I was solving, I actually did put in "rare," take it out and put in "well," and then take that out and replace it again with "well." Hah!

Do you want MINERALWATER at your table? "Well, actually."

Are you FEELINGILL? "Well, actually." That's so absurd, I actually laughed out loud. 


And as if that isn't enough, the fill was a ton of fun as well. 6D: High-minded guides? (SHERPAS) is a good example of the MELLOW vibe here. 41D: Played with, as a mustache (TWIRLED). I love it!

50D: Sense of orientation? (GAYDAR). So good!

I also love MEASLY, REGALIA, and LYNX. That SW corner is particularly crunchy, but all three down clues were eminently gettable, so no worries about not knowing DMX.

Fun Wednesday. It played easier than yesterday's. I wonder why Mr. Shortz ran the two grids in this order rather than reversed.

- Colum


  1. WELL, ACTUALLY, I think this puzzle is super! I always love it when the reveal surprises me and this one did the trick. I had no idea where the constructor was going until I ACTUALLY filled in the last theme answer. And terrific clues!

  2. TENT was another well clued one. Oh and for the soaking spot I initially had SPAS but I questioned that as soon as I saw the lady bug clue because I immediately thought of BEETLE. Or maybe I should say that as "BEETLE, actually".

  3. Yes - fun and easy! I had SPAS too. My friends and I amuse ourselves by going out of our way to say "WELL ACTUALLY" to each other in nasal voices while pushing our glasses up our noses. A nippy 3:50 for me today