Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Wednesday, August 17, 2022, Michael Paleos

Mr. Paleos, you had me at FROOTLOOPS. I know the spelling, and I entered it confidently. I mean, no one would ever mistake them for "fruit" loops, right? Then, of course, BOSTONREDSOX didn't throw up any flags for this long-time fan. AMERICANPHAROAH didn't feel right, but then, those horse names frequently don't. And pharaoh is a weird spelling anyway. (Maybe the horse person was thinking of the word WHOA?)

It's the LOLcat MOTTO

So you'd think by now, I would have gotten the idea, but to this point (and for the remainder of my solve) I had ignored the bracketed tag on all the theme questions because it just didn't seem like I needed it. To my FWOEing peril!

I entered MORTALcOMBAT and was happy to have remembered the name. Then DEFLEPPARD ... well, that's just the way that's spelled. So I filled in the grid, but then had to spend a couple minutes looking for what had gone wrong. Finally, I noticed that ALEc Wek didn't look right, and only then did the lovely theme finally come clear to me. 

Of Mr. Paleos's five puzzles to date, this is my favorite. And how do I know he has five? Well, a couple years before the pandemic, Frannie and I were standing next to him at the ACPT awards ceremony, and we struck up a conversation. At that time, he was still looking for his first puzzle acceptance, and he claimed that when it happened, he would give us an exclusive interview. Of course, I understand that xwordinfo is the site that gets all the interviews, so I don't hold a grudge or anything, but I do think of it every time I see his byline, and I guess his puzzles stand out a little more to me because of that memory. At first I just thought "Oh, it's that guy we talked with," but now it's going to be "Oh nice, this one should be good!" :)

Sure, the fill might have a little too much ETAL, ERMA, ODIC, and IDLEST, but it's also got MANGO, SPANX, OPTICIAN (A sight for sore eyes?), and a nice clue for HATE ("It has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet," per Maya Angelou). 

For me, the theme is all today, and I love it.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. Having filled in IRA in puzzles so many times, glad to be able to have ROTH IRA this time. Sort of the thrill a lot of people get when the answer is the first and last name of (some celebrity I know barely or not at all).

    As for people that Horace struck up conversations with at ACPT, glad to hear I'm not the only one. My claim to fame, however, is not as illustrious as constructing puzzles. My claim to fame is being an avid reader of this blog.