Monday, October 31, 2022

Monday, October 31, 2022, Emily Carroll

Happy Halloween, everyone! Hope you're all ready with carved pumpkins, decorations, and costumes. Our Jack O'Lanterns are ready to go, and our candy bowl is filled. Also, the pumpkin seeds are currently drying. I like to roast them with spices... Mmmmm...

In honor of this pagan celebration, Ms. Carroll presents us with a spooky puzzle, where a GHOSTWRITER sprinkles her works of literature with SCAREQUOTES, writing on DOOMSCROLLS, and using DEADLETTERS. Hah! Fun theme, and clever execution. Ooh! See what I did there?

As I've come to expect from this constructor, the puzzle is smoothly filled. Note how the SW and NE corners are cut off from the rest of the grid, but the long entry answers are clued in a very straightforward way (HARPERLEE and INANYCASE). Also, all of the short answers in the small areas are reasonably easy to get. 

Other than ESTD and ICARE, I find no answers that are worthy nitpicking. Perhaps you don't know HODOR from "Game of Thrones," or maybe you're one of the five people or so in the USA who don't recognize Rick Astley's "Never GONNA Give You Up," but the crosses are all reasonable. 

We also get the fun 1D: The brainy bunch? (MENSA), the outstanding The MAMAS & The Papas, and the sublime PIETA of Michelangelo.

I am amused that one SWIPES right from the E to get EROS. I imagine that Tinder doesn't always work out way. I've never tried it myself.

Hope your evening is more treat than trick!

- Colum

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Sunday, October 30, 2022, Addison Snell


Hey folks! It's Colum, back again for another scintillating week of reviews. Well, at least I think they're scintillating. Your mileage may vary, as they once said.

I just got back from a lovely overnight stay in Amherst, where I saw Cece's college orchestra perform a John Williams concert, replete with Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, and Star Wars music, among others. It was a blast!

But back to the mundane. Today's crossword puzzle references ALANTURING, known best for his work in deciphering the ENIGMAMACHINE's code, as depicted in the movie, The IMITATIONGAME. This work was instrumental in turning the tide of World War II, as the Allies were able to know what the Germans were doing ahead of time.

Turing is also known for his outstanding contributions to mathematics, as well as the Turing Test, which posits that if an artificial intelligence is able to fool a human over the course of a prolonged and open-ended conversation, it is essentially as good as alive. Unfortunately, he was prosecuted by the British Government for homosexual acts, and likely committed suicide at the age of 42.

The middle of the puzzle consists of eight 5-letter words, which, when put through a basic substitution cipher (the key is given in the Puzzle Info note), translates to a quotation of Turing's: "Codes are a puzzle, a game, just like any other game." I will be honest, I was going to decode the CRYPTOGRAM, but the program did it for me on the iPad. Did anyone go to the effort themselves?

Some fun clues and answers today:

7A: Pain in the neck? (GOITER) - too soon?

13D: Dunderhead (DUMMKOPF) - I like the German.

16D: Implies (INTIMATES) - if the clue and answer were reversed, this would have been harder.

62D: Its in French (SES) - the absence of an apostrophe makes all the difference!

Interesting start to the week. It did not play particularly hard, but I also ignored the decoding entirely.

- Colum

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Saturday, October 29, 2022, Daniel Okulitch

Today's puzzle went much faster than yesterday's for this puzzler. I ended with a time of 18:44. The bottom half went right along at a brisk TEMPE, but the train slowed a bit up at the top. The section I had the most trouble with there was the far right (ha!). I may be revealing my SOCIALCLASS by admitting I didn't know the SAKS logo was written in script. I will respect Horace's MIRANDARIGHTS and not reveal that he, apparently, did know the logo and dropped that answer right in. :) Funny to me that even with the X of SINTAX in place ("Price for vice") and my residential location being New England, I had to run the alphabet to get "Word after White or Red" (SOX). Derp.

The QMC "Error message?" for OOPS was cute and "Grant in folklore studies?" THREEWISHES was clever. Two less challenging but fun QMCs were "Middle of France?" (CENTRE) and "Predict-able gift?" (ESP). In the non-QMC category, "It means a lot" (MUCHO) was good, but my favorite was "Attire one might grapple with" (SINGLET) - very nice.


Horace and I had a fun time discussing the shape of the puzzle, with ideas of what it looked like that ranged from an old telephone to a storm trooper helmet to a sad puppy face. :)


Friday, October 28, 2022

Friday, October 28, 2002, Will Nediger

Another busy day, dear Readers, which has caused me to bring you this review so late. I started the puzzle in the early AM, but didn't get far. I sat down with it again after dinner and chipped away, section by section, and finished it just now in a longish, 41:53.

The grid was pretty empty after a first pass at the Acrosses. I knew "Number written as a simple cross in Chinese" was TEN and then my next fairly secure answer wasn't until 36A "'___ advice?" (ANY). The latter was the only fill-in-the-blank answer that came easily to me. The connection between the clue "___ law" and OHMS was a long time coming. I was very late to the game with "Late ___" (FEE) as well. The amusing "Subway fare?" for HERO helped me break into the top middle section, but I had the wrong end of the stick when considering "Like overcast skies, in England." I spent too much time searching for a four-letter word that meant 'common' rather than the British spelling of GREY. Derp. On a happier British note, I did know the slang TOFF for "Aristocratic type," which opened up the tiny little section in the middle of the bottom of the grid. And so it, went, section: break in, chip away, complete the section, move on to the next. I never really got a flow going.


That being said, there was much to enjoy on the journey. C/APs I particularly liked were "Roll with many functions" (DUCTTAPE), "You might throw a wrench a wrench into it" (TOOLSET), and "Segment made of lines" (SCENE). "Stocks" and "It goes door to door" were nicely SLY clues for BROTHS and CORRIDOR, respectively

There was also lots of good fill including BURNERACCOUNT, BLOWAFUSE, RUBBISH, DISCOANTHEMS, and LIFEHACKS. Nice crossing of AMATEURNIGHT with ROOKIEMISTAKE as well. 

The only thing that gets ANON from me was APT for "Likely" which seemed neither likely, nor apt, but you know, dear Readers, the fondness I AFFIX to that word.


Thursday, October 27, 2022

Thursday, October 27, 2022, Barbara Lin

Great theme today that it took me some time to figure out. Early signs indicated a rebus. Right at 2D, I couldn't make INORGAN[IC] ("Not derived from living matter") fit without one, but it took me a bit longer to figure where to squeeze in the extra letter. I only realized later that the clues for the theme answers that took a rebus were in italics, a delay justified, I thought, by the fact that the one at 32A was a quote. I "thought" - if I can even call the momentary consideration my mind gave the clue a thought - that the clue was in italics because it was a quote. As I advanced out of the northwest, however, I picked up the pattern and began to make sense of the situation.

I'm not sure why I'm rambling on about that. What I really want to say is that this is a really cool theme. To come up with these theme answers that are regular expressions (of the non-computer variety :) that change just one letter AND fit them into a puzzle is pretty amazing. 
[PM]OWER (POWER MOWER), and the big finish ...


Plus, the corresponding Down answers are good - if, in the case of A[PM]USIC, a little farfetched - is that a thing in high school? The rest of the puzzle is also good, with fun fill like BRAYS, ADIPOSE - you don't see that every day - well, maybe some of us do :) - ROCOCO, IFFY, CATCONDO, and HIMOM

Not to mention a number of fine C/APs like VOID for "Vacuum", OUTDO for "Best", "Alternative to a boot" (TOW), and the amusing, "Solution to some chemistry problems?" (LYE) and "Place where everything should have a mate" (SOC[KD]RAWER). I don't get SOTU for "D.C. address?" I'm sure one of our dear Readers can enlighten me. 

In short, ILOVEDIT!


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Wednesday, October 26, 2022, Simeon Seigel

Today's theme answers are sixteen-letter noun phrases, or in one case, a proper noun that are clued as if they were composed of four, four-letter words or ALLFOURS. For example, the clue for 18A is "Patsy + French 'to be' + Singe + Pop queen = Sales wonk" or MARK ETRE SEAR CHER. I don't know how people think of these things, although, I suppose if one were stuck in a boring meeting led by or about market researchers, one might find one's mind wandering to just this sort of re-parsing. I think it's pretty cool that the constructor found four such, but I think it would be a tad cooler if you could find ones that didn't make use of proper names like CHER, ALIS, and ILYA, but maybe that requires a MASTERSTRATEGIST.

I especially enjoyed the mix of old and new in the puzzle. How about these pairings? "Quaff of gruit and wort, in days of yore" (ALE) and "Slangy request at a kegger" (BEERME), "'Interwebz" (THENET) and "Radio toggle" (AMFM), plus the fun rhyming pair, DRAM and CRAM


There were several C/AP's I liked including "Be nosy" (PRY), "Give a few laughs" (AMUSE), "Flat ... or inflate?" (PAD), "Part of a stable diet?" (OAT), and my favorite of the day, "Co. making arrangements" (FTD) - ha!

As I'm sure was intended, I was kerflummoxed by the clue "Sound emitted by methane emitters." Luckily, the Down answers in that section came to my rescue. I don't know if I would ever have come up with MOO on my own. Other clues that made me use my NOODLE were "Regards" for APPLIESTO, "Incline" for RAMP, "Tag, key or chip, say" for MAR, and "Thrill" for SEND. III! One QMC I still not CLEAR on is KNEE for "Bend it, like Beckham?" I mean, I know David Beckham was a soccer player, but is he (or are they) really known for bending their knees, or does it refer to something else entirely? The meaning was not READILYAVAILABLE to me.


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Tuesday, October 25, 2022, Ashleigh Silveira and Nick Shephard

Today's theme revealer, STEPSUPONESGAME, is to be taken literally. A name of a classic board game appears in each quadrant in circled letters, going diagonally upward, like steps - "Pretty sneaky, sis" to quote a 1981 Connect Four ad. The games are [SCRABBLE], [CHESS], [RISK], and [MONOPOLY], plus maybe a little bonus game mention in the clue for 1A: "It's black on one side and white on the other, in Othello" (DISC). Somehow a game theme seems Perfection for a Tuesday. 

In addition to the diagonal game names, there are some nice long Down answers like the grid-spanning revealer mentioned above, plus DOLAPS (heh), SEESPOTRUN, AFOOT, POPO, ICKIER, and DEPOSITION. It seemed to me, however, that some of the Across ANS lacked afflatus. We have IPOS, ELY, ICU, FOO, along with the brand name of electric toothbrushes, SONICARE. Although, for this solver, the least intelligible C/AP was 58D: "Keydets' sch." (VMI). It was not something ANODE. I was lucky it didn't RUNE my solve.

Other fill gave off a good VIBE. I enjoyed REHASH, SPIKED, GENT, and MOOT. I'm on the fence about SESH ("Meeting, informally"). I like the sound of it, but it seems like a pointless shortening. 


But, enough about my word preferences. My C/AP preferences are as follows: "They're hard to get out of" (RUTS), "Loss leader?" (ELL), the amusing "Holy Grail" reference (I assume), TIS "but a scratch!" and my favorite today "Inner ear?" (COB) - ha!


Monday, October 24, 2022

Monday, October 24, 2022, Joe Rodini

Well, dear Readers, things have been a bit hectic and troublesome since last we met. I won't bring everyone down with a litany of problems - suffice to say that I haven't been able to give crossword puzzle solving and reviewing the attention it deserves. PSIS.

I finished the puzzle in under 5 minutes today, but I solved the puzzle in 6:36. :( I went through the grid like a hot knife through butter, but my typing skills were no match for the old bean. My grid was littered with typos from LdDS ("Many modern Christmas bulbs, in brief") to the somewhat amusing JOSEFeelicANO. How RUED. :)

Interesting that the solution included two identical answers - a rarity, non? The grid starts with SANS at 1A ("French for 'without'") and ended with SANS at 70A "After 1-Across, what the first names at 20-, 36-, 43- and 57-Across all are?" In this case, the first names in question, when paired with 'SANS' are cities in California (and probably other places as well). We have San FRANCISCO(GOYA), San DIEGO(RIVERA), San PEDRO(PASCA)], and San JOSE(FELICIANO). I've SELMA seen so many SANS in one place. 


I enjoyed SETTO for "Small brawl", "Faint with passion" for SWOON, and  the CA/P "Question that might have a ring to it?" (PROPOSAL) - ha! AGASP reminds me of an hilarious Burnistoun skit that I'd provide a link to, if I had any CHOIs in the matter, but I can't find one. I like ODEON and JIVE, but I was less thrilled with STENTS. I've never cared for that word. 

The clue "Like Yale since 1969" (COED) made me think, that's not all that long ago. 


Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunday, October 23, 2022, Daniel Bodily and Jeff Chen


The string of good Sunday puzzles continues! For a while as I was solving this, I had the feeling I sometimes get doing Puzzle Five in Stamford - some things just didn't make any sense, and I was afraid they might never make sense. Fortunately, this puzzle had no time limit, and at around the 20-minute mark (Is that all we get for Puzzle Five? I can never remember. I just remember it's far too short.) I stopped trying to put in answers and just looked long and hard at the troublesome answers. Then, finally, it became clear. The first one to click for me was 35A: Historic 36A: Hockey 37A: Upset (MIRA CLEO NICE). Or "Miracle on ice." NICE indeed.

Only after that did I realize that the constructors tried very hard to help me out in the middle horizontal line, where the clues read: "Read" "Here" "To" "Understand 23 answers in today's puzzle that don't seem to match their clues" - BET WEE NTH ELI NES. Not exactly what's going on here, I don't think, but I'm not sure I could describe it either. I guess if you take it idiomatically ... maybe? Still, I like the trick.


In the fill I especially liked EXITLANES, because just last night, Frannie and I hit a huge backup on 128, and instead of crawling along and cursing, we took the first off-ramp and asked the phone to find us a non-highway route home. It was lovely. Saw places we had never seen within ten miles of our house. 

The MIOCENE (Epoch when the Mediterranean Sea nearly dried up) was not something I remembered. I suppose I should brush up on my epochs... "Word on the street, perhaps?" was tough for TAXI. I take it they mean painted letters on the road at a TAXI stand. Would have also accepted "ped xing" and "bus lane." 

"Armed force at sea?" (OCTOPUS) was cute. And I enjoyed the duet of "'I', in the 'Aeneid'" (EGO) and "'I,' in the 'Iliad'" (IOTA). There must be a reason that they put the comma outside of the quotation marks around the "I" in the first clue, but not in the second. The first I is referring to a person - the narrator, presumably - and the second is referring to a letter. Does that make a difference in comma-izing? These things are very interesting to me, but this time, I'm afraid I don't have an answer. ET59? Do you know? I mean, I imagine they're trying to indicate that the "I" of EGO can stand alone, and that the "I" for IOTA is just the letter, and in the clue it is only capitalized because it is the first letter, but I'm not convinced that the different comma use is necessary. But then, I'm not an editor.

It's this kind of riveting, insightful blogging that's going to win us awards. You're welcome. Etc.

Finally, I loved the clue "Calvin and Hobbes, e.g." because A, I loved that strip, and B, they were PALS, and that's nice.

- Horace

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Saturday, October 22, 2022, Brooke Husic and Yacob Yonas

As I start this review, I am thinking of another reviewer, Peter Schjeldahl, art critic for The New Yorker, who died yesterday. Frannie and I (and Colum, I'm sure) have long enjoyed reading his reviews, and maybe four or five years ago, Frannie and I were lucky enough to get tickets to tour the Frick Museum with him during The New Yorker Festival. It was a treat to listen to him talk about some of his favorite artworks in person. He will be missed.



Now how do I go from that to one of my typically irreverent (or is that irrelevant?) crossword puzzle reviews? Do I lead with something in bad taste, like ITSALLOVER? Or do I OPT to STALL for time? UHYEAH...

Speaking of art, I dropped in STABILES (Mobile relatives) off the clue, but not 1D: "Something a person typically drops on purpose" (ACID), where I entered "name." Heh. 

So I put ADDISABABA into Google Translate with the "Detect Language" on, and it chose Somali and gave the translation "after all." And when I changed the language to Amharic, it just gave "addis ababa" as the translation. So I guess I have to take the constructors (and Wikipedia's) word for it that it means "new flower." Still, good to know.

I'm not sure I get the clue for COASTLINES (Areas impacted by global recessions?). Do they mean low pressure weather events like hurricanes, or do they mean the lower land areas that are filled with water (the oceans)? Or do they mean something else, like the landmass of the East Coast, that was pushed down by the glaciers and is still in the process of "springing" back up, which affects the water levels in places like the Gulf of Maine? Luckily, crosses helped a lot with that one.

And what the hell is "Knight shift?" Sure, moving a knight in a game is a CHESSMOVE, but has anyone ever used the phrase "knight shift" while playing or writing about chess? Not that I've seen.

"Basic assessment" (PHTEST) on the other hand, was very nice. And "Santa's is H0H 0H0, in Canada" (POSTALCODE) was fun to learn. And always nice to find representation in the grid - this time in Gen XERS. :)

I'm a little mixed on this one, but it was a good challenge, and had some highlights.

- Horace

Friday, October 21, 2022

Friday, October 21, 2022, Rafael Musa

Today's feature C/AP was "It's shortest at the Equator" (DAWN). First, the capitalization of the word "equator" struck me. According to a British source, "... this is not wrong, but it's not recommended." But are they really in any position to be giving advice about anything right now? Second, Why? Well, I looked it up and it's because at the equator (yeah, you heard me) the sun goes directly down - perpendicular to the horizon, while at higher latitudes, it goes down at more of an angle, and so remains closer to the horizon, albeit a little to the left or right, for a longer time. Never really thought of that before, and I'm happy to know it. Always nice when a puzzle can do that.

It's been far too long since I've had a Manhattan at a BAR

But what of the rest of it? Well, the very next C/AP - "Buzzes while buzzed?" (DRUNKDIALS) was fun, and through that we've got another interesting bit of trivia - "Where the piano was invented" (ITALY). I suppose I might have been able to intuit that from the very name "piano," but I didn't. Instead, I got a few crosses. NOLIE.

ENNUI (World-weary feeling) reminds me of my old friend Baudelaire, and CREE (Native Canadian) reminds me of Laurie Anderson. Both good.

BAREHEADED (Uncapped?) was a bit much, and I was not familiar with BOTTLEGREEN (Dark hue named after a type of glassware) before today. And was it a little odd to have two such similar phrases atop each other: HANGONASECOND and WAITRIGHTTHERE? I guess I don't mind. The third in the stutter-step middle was fun, though - "Make dough from scratch?" (WINTHELOTTERY). Heh.

Overall, I guess it was a fine Friday. 


- Horace

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Thursday, October 20, 2022, Rebecca Goldstein

Three little lambs in the field. Field of letters, that is. A lamb, a ram, and a ewe, have each lost their way and become trapped in a black square, turning them into BLACKSHEEP. Cute. Everybody loves a rebus, and a hidden, changeable rebus is even better.

Hello Kitty with her HAIRBOW.
Somebody owes Dick Bruna some money.

I bet AMYPOEHLER would have some funny things to say about being found symmetrically opposite the BLACKSHEEP entry today. And I'm certain Mark TWAIN would enjoy being the center of attention, contending only with the sun.

And also in the center there's that stalwart AOL. It's CDs were everywhere back in the '90s, then it became a joke, but it's still around, and as a matter of fact, it now owns my primary email account. What started as Bell Atlantic became Verizon, then Verizon gave up email and sold that part of their business to AOL. But through it all, they've allowed me to keep the old domain after my email, and for that I thank them. It's like finding an arrowhead in your inbox.

A new friend in my poetry class just sent me a geology-themed poem yesterday, and seeing BASALT (Dark volcanic rock) made me smile to think of it. WEELADS (Some small Scots) was a bit of a random stretch entry, but often, it's the crazier the better. Why not WEELADS, right?

Always nice to start the Turn with a rebus. 

- Horace

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Wednesday, October 19, 2022, Ryan Patrick Smith

If it were up to me, they could run Tom Swifty themes once a week. And this time, they get better as the puzzle goes on. 

"You cooked this? It's *disgusting*!" said Tom INVERYPOORTASTE
"What do you mean there are no PlayStations left in stock?" asked Tom INCONSOLABLY
"I'm worried I may have anemia," said Tom UNIRONICALLY
"You guys are supposed to be 'Wise Men' and *these* are the gifts you bring a newborn?!" asked Tom, FRANKLYINCENSED.

I mean, come on, those are nice. 


In other news, I liked 1-Across, "Game pieces used in Othello and Connect Four" (DISCS). I don't know about "One foot in 'the grave,' poetically speaking" though. It's a cute clue, but is "the grave" really an IAMB? I don't know, maybe. Sometimes, when you try to pronounce something normally it seems impossible to do so. Also, it's funny that the very word IAMB is, itself, a trochee. Maybe. Let's move on.

"Festoon" is a lovely word (ADORN), and CHOUX pastry brings to mind The Great British Bake-Off, which is in the middle of a new season on Netflix. It's jumped the shark a little, but we still watch it.

I didn't love "Kind of column" (ONES), but maybe just because I had no idea what it was for the longest time. "Visiting the Natl. Museum of African American History and Culture, say" was a tricky clue for INDC, and I wasn't sure about Peggy NOONAN. And "Flat, for short" (TWOD) was unexpected too. That was a tricky little section!

Overall, though, I loved the theme, so I loved the puzzle. 

- Horace

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Tuesday, October 18, 2022, Dan Schoenholz

Kind of a cool theme today. How to describe it? Take a well known set of initials that have come to stand alone - there's got to be a word for this ... Will? - and then put those into another phrase that means pretty much the same as the original one. Nothing simpler! :)


Let's just use an example. "ASAP" stands for "as soon as possible," but the same letters have been put into the phrase [A]NDMAKEIT[S]N[A][P]PY. See? Neato. The middle one (RSVP, for répondez s'il vous plaît) makes me wonder if I couldn't keep it in French. Maybe ga[r]dez un [s]iège ou[v]ert [p]our moi, but that's 26 letters. Too long even for a Sunday. ... I won't bore you further. With that.

I can't see the word GIGGED without thinking back to high school. I was in a band (saxophone), and one of the guitarists found an amp to buy in the Want Ads, and we were just scrawny kids, and the guy selling the amp was this old geezer, and Pete asked him "So... have you gigged with it?" At the time, I barely knew what he meant, but look at me now, dropping it into the puzzle like an old geezer!

So anyway, ECHINODERM is lovely, and I'm waiting patiently for HOVERBIKES to be more widely available. I could EASEUP on the pedals on my ride to work. Maybe AVOID needing to change whatever shirt I WORE for the ride. 

How 'bout "Item on a bucket list?" for PAIL. Genius. And a nice shout-out to Colum's old dog MILO. :)

And hey, here's another personal anecdote - just this morning I got an email from the Opéra National de Paris (yes... I'm on their mailing list...) advertising the upcoming season, which will include "Nixon in China!" Until a minute or two before I started this puzzle, I had no idea it was an OPERA. Quelle coincidence!

OK, that's probably enough out of me. I quite enjoyed this one.

- Horace

Monday, October 17, 2022

Monday, October 17, 2022, Caryn L. Robbins

IMALLEARS is the theme today. Four characters who have prominent ears. BUGSBUNNY is the outlier, because he is a rabbit, and rabbits have large ears. MICKEYMOUSE's unnatural ears have become the symbol of an enormous company. ALFREDENEUMAN, it is said, was modelled on the current king of England (is England still a thing?), so the less we say about that, the better. And, well, then there's MISTERSPOCK, everyone's favorite Star Trek character.

For a while we used to rate 1-Across answers, and today I'd give it a C-minus. 2-Down is a little EDGIER, "Having a concern for wealth and respectability, in slang" (BOUGIE). Imagine! A PERSON having a concern for respectability. The very idea. Being LEGIT is for squares, man.

And speaking of a concern for respectability, when is the last time, do you think, that LAMS (Hasty escapes) was used in casual conversation? Or in any other way besides a crossword?

On the other hand, I quite enjoyed the clue "Like Bo-Peep's sheep" (LOST). Heh. And "You are here" is nice for EARTH.

I'm a big John DONNE fan, so it's always nice to see his name. 

Let's leave it there.

- Horace

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Sunday, October 16, 2022, Paolo Pasco



Another lovely Sunday theme. Is it just me, or have the 21x21s gotten a lot better lately? This is a really nice one.

Kirsten DUNST in Power of the Dog

To begin with, it sports left-right symmetry. Unusual, but pleasing. It’s also got circles, symmetrically placed (well, almost, those top and bottom ones are a little off, but who’s checking?) that, when taken in order, read “Make ends meet.” Hmm… sounds a little like the title, “Terminal Connections.” But what does it all mean?


The answer lies in several Down answers, that hit a black square and turn ninety degrees to finish in a circle, as in “*Baseball pitching style … or a weapon” (SID/EAR[M]). That looks more confusing typographically than it does in the grid, but I hope you can get the idea. You will be forgiven if the first such clue you reached was “*Indentation on a chew toy” and you thought “bite” was enough of an answer, only later realizing that it should be BITE/MAR[K].


The lower-middle had the toughest set, with HUGUE/NOT[S] and USVST/HE[M]. Tricky to spell the first, and tricky to parse the second!


In other news, I liked seeing REL at 38-Across. Those are the initials of my father and two of my brothers! (My last name’s not really Fawley. IGOTIT from Jude the Obscure.) And in further personal reference news, Frannie and I should be enjoying a CROISSANT or two while we are in Paris next month. BIGNEWS, I know, but don’t worry, we’ll still be able to do the reviews. J


I HATESTO be a DOOMER, but I feel I must call out a few of the WEARIER answers. OTTOMANSETS (Certain furniture store purchases) seems odd to me, and SEMIMINOR ( ____ axis, half of an ellipse’s shorter diameter) is just – huh? I’m sure some of you will say, “Oh, sure, a SEMIMINOR. Nothing could be more wholesome or natural!” but not so for this guy. ISOGON and REHOUSE, too, are not great (and do I dare mention ESQUE?), but I say STET, because if that’s what it takes to get this kind of a puzzle, I’m all for it.


Lovely, GUV. TAS!


- Horace

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Saturday, October 15, 2022, John Hawksley

Hoo boy. Two areas took me at least a third of the time, and that was with Cece's help. In fact, I owe the completion of this puzzle entirely to my daughter's assistance.

1A: Tricky spot to be in? (MAGICSHOP) was one of the problem areas. I had MAGICSHOw. Which led to the impossible wORSCHES as an answer for 9D: Taycan and Macan. I had no idea these were cars. Parrots, possibly? Mayan names? Regardless, Cece pointed out the alternate answer at 1A. 

I also incorrectly had pOtATOBASE for 11D: What makes clam chowder "Manhattan" rather than "New England." To be fair, I initially had TOMATOBASE instead, but took it out due to a faulty apprehension. 10A: COPY, perhaps (STAMP) was completely opaque until my daughter suggested going back to my first idea.

This is a great puzzle though. I love 2D: "Ain't it so?" (AMIRITE) and 60A: Is shocked or horrified by the image of, jocularly (CANTUNSEE). 

How great is the combination of ATHLEISURE and SEVENTHSON? One contemporary, the other mythical, and they fit so well next to each other. Taking it even further back, we get 35D: Renaissance-era cup (CODPIECE). Not goblet, or chalice, mind you. Nope, much further south.

Some good C/APs:

22A: What makes the short list? (ETC)

1D: Latin music duo (MARACAS)

I also tip my hat to the use of the word "Lickspittle" as the clue for YESMAN

I had a fun week! Horace will take over tomorrow.

- Colum

Friday, October 14, 2022

Friday, October 14, 2022, David Steinberg

Okay, I'll admit it. I have a juvenile streak. I think I'm still allowed, even at my advanced age. 

So, I HADABLAST with this themeless, highlighted by the excellent pair of clues and answers as follows:

33A: Pile of texts? (POOPEMOJI) - hah!

38A: Something that's cracked and gross (DIRTYJOKE).

So good! These are star examples of top-notch QMCs and non-QMCs. It took forever to get the final two letters of that last one, my last two of the grid. YAW I thought was probably right, but 36D: Half of an evening outfit, informally (PJTOP) was so hard! Because I was thinking of a formal wear outfit, not a super informal nighttime apparel.


Other fun colloquialisms include YOUREAJERK (that J gave me the first of the above answers) and AREWEDONE.

Certainly, the puzzle felt like it skewed young, with STUDYDATE and congressional squad member ILHANOMAR. And PROMNIGHT. And poop jokes.

Feels like we've been hit over the head recently with the fact that TUBAS is Latin for "trumpets." I really should have known that already from however many Requiems I've sung. 

Anyway, suffice it to say that I had fun. Mr. Steinberg, stay young.

- Colum

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Thursday, October 13, 2022, Lewis Rothlein

In today's puzzle, the urge to SKIPTOWN does not mean to escape from an unpleasant situation, but is instead instructions on how to make the answers to the theme clues correspond to their actual clues! The state in which the town is found is given with each clue with its postal abbreviation. Taken in order, we get:

17A: Sunset shade (MT) - REBUTTED, or "red" + "Butte."

21A: Start of an objection (TX) - BLAREDOUT, or "but" + "Laredo."

34A: Booty spot? (PA) - CHEERIEST, or "chest" (as in pirate's chest) and "Erie."

44A: They're the pits (AZ) - HOMESALES, or "holes" and "Mesa."

53A: Sole (UT) - PROVOLONE, or "lone" and "Provo."

Nicely done! I particularly like 21A and 44A because the town name is split across two words in the answer. It's also nice that no state is represented more than once.

ELAINE Thompson-Herah

I always like seeing musical references, and we get several. First is 1A: Extended feature of "Hey Jude" ad "Layla" (CODA). Trivia for you: which one is a longer coda? There's also BASSO (I'd never heard of "Sixteen Tons," but I enjoyed listening to it just now) and Holst's SUITE, The Planets, an old favorite of mine.

Other clues I enjoyed include:

5A: Heat setting, in brief (NBA) - the Miami Heat, that is.

15A: Meaningful work, in short? (OED) - way to make a 3-letter abbrev. fun!

49A: Evidence provider for some citations (RADAR) - not in a bibliography, but on the highway, sadly.

I very much enjoyed this Thursday offering. 6:54.

- Colum

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Wednesday, October 12, 2022, Drew Schmenner

I am amused that the theme today uses AUTOTUNE as the revealer, a decidedly contemporary tool in pop singers' armamentarium. Although, with a little Googling, I find out that it first came out in 1997, and Cher's song "Believe" was its first widely popular use. Nonetheless, the actual "auto" tunes listed in the other theme answers are distinctively older, ranging in dates from 1966 to 1988.

I remember when FASTCAR came out, because it was popular in college. Tracy Chapman had busked in Cambridge, but I don't know if I had ever actually seen or heard her before her album came out. If I had to rank these four songs, it would go like this:

1. MUSTANGSALLY. It's just too iconic.

2. FASTCAR. Nostalgia wins.

3. MERCEDESBENZ. I mean, it's Janis Joplin, so a lot of points there. But I like others of hers better.

4. LOWRIDER. It's iconic, but I wouldn't typically choose to listen to it.

Looks like white wool

The fill is good, with UGLYTRUTHS and EMAILSCAMS anchoring the corners. I always enjoy a good textism (SRSLY), and MCJOB is another fine multi-consonant answer in the symmetrically opposed slot.

Mr. Schmenner appears to like the Scrabbly letters, because we get a K, and X, a Z, and a Q. Unsurprisingly, that makes the puzzle a pangram. I didn't feel like the answers were stretched beyond recognition to get there, so no complaints. Still, there's a fair amount of glue, with BAS, EST, ACL, and TMC. But it's a fun Wednesday, with a typically oddball theme.

- Colum

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Tuesday, October 11, 2022, Ailee Yoshida

One of the first things that happened this morning was a text from my older daughter, showing me her time on today's puzzle. Well, I know a challenge when I see one! I'm not proud to say that I did in fact beat her time (by 33 seconds), and even less proud to recognize that the pressure caused me to go more slowly than I otherwise would have...

Anyway. Today's theme takes SUPERGIRL and uses it as a synonym for other phrases not typically associated with women, such as GOODFAITH, ROCKINROBIN (excellent), STAR / LILY, and PRETTYPENNY. It's a cute concept. One of my issues in the solve was putting in PRETTYPrice. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Fun to start with a "neurologic" answer at 1D: Like the left brain, in pop psychology (LOGICAL). This turns out to be wrong, wrong, wrong as well. I had a professor during my residency who said that the left brain, because it is the seat of language, is continually generating stories about the world, most of which make absolutely no sense at all. Then it is the job of the right brain to compare those stories with reality and reject the illogical ones. I love this concept!

My favorite sandwich!

I laughed at 45D: Get using will power? (INHERIT). That's beautiful! Otherwise the clues were pretty straightforward.

I will give this to my daughter: I got 58A: Chucked forcefully, in modern lingo (YEETED) directly because of her. For those of you who are interested, it appears the term originated in basketball.

Overall a fun and smooth Tuesday offering.

- Colum

Monday, October 10, 2022

Monday, October 10, 2022, Byron Walden

Today was a whirlwind of events at work, so apologies that the review gets posted a little late. Hopefully you're still interested in reading my thoughts! I know I am, so I'm excited to find out!

A straightforward and cute theme here, revealed at 67A: Common miniature golf goal ... or a hint to what's found in 17-, 39- and 60-Across (PARTWO). Personally, I'm always excited if I manage to sink a putt putt hole in two shots. Don't know about you, but it's a pretty rare occurrence.

Regardless, the three referenced clues lead to 15-letter grid spanners, each of which has the letter string PAR represented twice. I like SPARRINGPARTNER and PARALLELPARKING much more than PARTSDEPARTMENT, which feels a little meh. But who am I to complain? Have I ever had a puzzle accepted by the NYT? The answer is no, just in case you were wondering. I know I was.

I love the freedom Mr. Walden has given himself with those three answers plus revealer. The least okay answer comes between the third theme answer and the revealer (INANER). That is a silly word, none sillier, and I can't think of a sillierer one. 

Everybody's favorite android, BRENT

But we do get TOTEMPOLE, SEASCAPE, and BOYGEORGE. Oddly enough, in my Peloton ride the other day, I heard a cover of Karma Chameleon. Quick, name another song by Culture Club or its lead singer! I know I can't.

I liked the clue for 42A: White dogs, or bluish-gray cats (MALTESES) - a good excuse for a plural here, based on multiple species. 

Difficulties today came in plopping in PReenS for PRIMPS and EASYaspie for EASYPEASY, which led to an over 3 minute solving time today. But them's the breaks. I know I have.

- Colum

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Sunday, October 9, 2022, Jessie Trudeau and Ross Trudeau


Happy Sunday, O our many readers! We are enjoying a relaxing couple of days with Cecelia, who is on Fall Break from college. In a little while, we'll be taking the dogs to walk around Olana, the estate of the Hudson Valley school of painting pioneer Frederick Church. But first, a little downtime, plenty to complete the puzzle and post a review!

A photo not taken by me, of Olana

Today's puzzle is a husband and wife extravaganza! It's a super fun theme, with the insane answer at 8D: Visual depiction of the apparatus used by the starred professionals (HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH)... which doesn't come across nearly as interestingly when typed out this way. In the grid, it nicely represents a ladder from the bottom to the top. And, as suggested, there are five types of individuals who use ladders in their work, each one starting at one level and then ascending for the second word in their title.

Thus, 25A: Worker with a brush [three rungs] is CHIMNEY / SWEEP, where you have to move up three Hs in 8D to get to the second word. The others are SUBMARINE / COMMANDER, CHERRY / PICKER, TELEPHONE / REPAIRMAN, and HOUSE / PAINTER. I love the clue for the last one: One putting a coat on outside. Excellent!

I also love that the ladder is to be interpreted that way only on the rows where the workers are. In all other situations, they're just Hs, fitting into the across clues. Finally, there's the extra theme answer CLIMBSTHELADDER.

RUDY Gobert (and coach)

Otherwise, this is a great grid, smooth and well-clued as we've come to expect from Mr. Trudeau. I like 73D: Activity one tries to get out of? (ESCAPEROOM). Other answers that were appreciated included SHARONA, ELBOWED, and ULTRAHOT, although that last one could have been clued a little more blue, as our old friend Huygens used to note.

Fun puzzle, which I hope bodes well for this week's reviews.

- Colum

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Saturday, October 8, 2022, Kyle Dolan

A challenging solve for this puzzler, dear Readers, but no FWOE today. I chipped away successfully, section by section for about 20 minutes, then I came to a grinding halt in the midwest. The unknown-to-me SEANETTLE ("Stinging jellyfish"), "Campus home of a UNESCO World Heritage site, in brief" (UVA), the trixy, "As shown" and my misspelling of VUVUZELAS (VevULZELAS) combined to stop my ROLEX. Eventually, I took everything out but the most definitive answers, thought harder about "Silver and gold" - this time coming up with HUES - and THUS finally being able to complete the grid in 31:31. 

Elsewhere, there was just enough fill that I knew or could guess like "Line from Pinocchio" (IMAREALBOY), the amusing "Bad time to take stock?" (BEARMARKET) and "Pop tribute?" (SODATAX), "Rightmost sybmol on Alaska's state flag" (POLARIS), and "Evangelistic sort" (ZEALOT) that BROKEOPEN other areas and provided a HINT or two to the more challenging clues like "Awful, or worse" (ZEROSTAR) - I was not thinking ratings! - "Dash of panache" (ZHUZH) - I don't think I've ever seen that word spelled out before - and "Longtime meat subsitute brand" (BACOS). I haven't eaten them in decades, but I never knew that they didn't have any meat in them. I looked them up on the World Wide Web, and here are the ingredients as reported on a page for them on 
Defatted Soy Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Water, Salt, Sugar, Artificial and Natural Flavor, Red 40 and Other Color Added, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (Corn, Soy, Wheat).
Mmmmm, defatted soy flour.... 


There were loads of AONE C/APs today including "Subject of a drawing, perhaps" (DOORPRIZE), "Craft since ancient times" (CANOE), "What was once due to American pioneers" (WEST), DRUMSOUT for "Forces to leave," the excellent "Cow" for DAUNT, and how about "Sockdolager"?! A real LULU of a word. :) Also, "Mustard's rank: Abbr." (COL) - heh. A lovely way to finish the week. I leave you, dear Readers, in the capable hands of my OLE friend and esteemed co-blogger, Colum Amory.


Friday, October 7, 2022

Friday, October 7, 2022, Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen

A real puzzler for this puzzler today. I did not, to my SHAMES, remember the name of the history-making SCOTUS appointee featured in the center of the grid and that put a real crimp in my ability to solve the small section in the north middle. That three-part name crossed other unknowns, specifically the last name of Steve, with four N.B.A. coaching championships, Seattle's nickname, and "First chairman of the E.E.O.C., familiarly." At least Seattle's nickname was a guessable word (EMERALD). I did eventually manage to guess FDRJR, too, although, who knew there was an FDRJR? Not I. There was also the trixy (for me) companion sports clue in the mix ("One has to make a run for it)." I decided the answer was STOrmchASE, which because much of it was correct and because there were so many unknowns in that section, I couldn't prove it wrong. The correct answer, STOLENBASE, is much better. Because it's my review day, I decided to ask Horace for the name of the Steve guy (KERR), which allowed me to correct and complete that section. Unfortch, even with the hint from Horace, I ended up with a FWOE because I had entered MACkCHEESE as the comfort food shortening - said no one ever.

I created trouble for myself in the top left as well. 1A was clued with the humorous "'How fast does a _____ have to run before it looks gray?" and I guessed 'panda,' an animal, which, as everyone knows, is renknowned the world over for its speed. :| The one Down answer off of 1A that I was pretty sure of was ANI ("Star Wars nickname"), but that didn't help the situation. Neither did the fact that I though of 'Ascot' for "English derby site" rather than the correct EPSOM. In sum, a dromedary of errors. 

I was more fortunate in my choice of "Animal that the Aztecs called ayotochtli, or 'turtle-rabbit'" (ARMADILLO) which underpinned a more successful solve of the northeast corner. In fact, the rest of the puzzle experience was just what one wants on a Friday: tough, but solvable. "Take care of for the family?" for OFFS is very good. BRAVE for "Withstand" was also excellent. APRONS for "They come with strings attached" is another good one.


I'm not sure what (a) BOGO is, but I do know about coffee from the KONACOAST, so that section didn't cause much trouble. Just last night on Jeopardy! 'what is STREUSEL' was a question for an answer that was very like, "Crumbly topping" in German. And speaking of Jeopardy!, the current champion seems to have a definite MO: he tries to find the daily double early and then GOESALLIN on it, with some success. I think he's now a five-time champion. In another coincidence, I just read an article in the New Yorker that profiled a man who frequently d.j.s in Ibiza in a club called Pacha - which was so named because the club was going to make the owners rich as a PASHA. I suppose I would come across the occasional fortuitous sports ball factoids if I ever read anything about sports. 

Anyhoo, so much for my ENDPLAYS. I'm sure our ESTEEMED Readers GNU more about sports and news of the day and didn't have the same trouble. I can always count on the NYTX to keep me on my TOES.


Thursday, October 6, 2022

Thursday, October 6, 2022, Simeon Seigel

Today, we get a pair of revealers that together explain on how to solve the puzzle's theme (MERGELEFT and PARESDOWN). Before I had the revealers, I figured out the trick of the side-by-side shaded answers at 28 and 29 Down with "taught a lesson". In that corner, I already had ESC ("Key used for exiting"), Bésame MUCHO (bolero song) and POOL ("Collect all together") at which point it was pretty easy to see [SCHOOL]. All I had to do was add [ED]. :) I did have trouble with 11 & 12 Down, "secretly plots (with)" because at first I had 'Laze' for "Lie about", and I had no idea what to guess for "F in music class?" Luckily, once I deleted 'aze' and took a harder look at 10D ("Nose around"), I was able to ROOT out the correct answer LOLL and I could see [COLLUDES]. It's fabulous that with a trick puzzle like this each part of the "merged" answer is also a valid word on its own. 

Other C/APs that deserve a NOD include:
"Shifts from neutral, in a way" (ACIDIFIES)
"Shiner?" (RAY)
"One who's up to the minutes" (STENO)
"Hermès, par exemple" (DIEU)
"Creator of an animal shelter" (NOAH)
"Blue notes?" (SEXTS) - ha!
"Set up for a swing" (TEED)

All in all a DEFT WORK.


Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Wednesday, October 5, 2022, Jason Reich

Today's theme answers are common expressions with the letter O appended to make them match jokey clues, for example, "Disney classic without any extra features" is JUSTPLAINDUMBO. The MBO ending of each is preceded by a different vowel - all but E, that is. I looked up words ending in EMBO and I can see why that one wasn't included. In the site I looked at, there were 11 'embo' entries including brembo, kanyembo, and tacuarembo. So, yeah. 

Not to be MEME, but an unhappy result of this grid layout is a substantial band of acronyms and abbreviations across the middle including LIC, OCT, ARC, and LSU just to mention one row. Nearby, there's also the unfortunate "Like intl. addresses, to Americans" (NONUS). 

61D: ALA

OTOH, I enjoyed "No longer on deck" (ATBAT), "It means nothing to the French" (RIEN), and "They know how you feel" (EMPATH). FAILUP is nice fill - although less good in real life unless, I suppose, it's one's own poor performance that gets rewarded. CHURL is also good as a word, but less so as a personality trait. "FANGS a lot" as Dracula's expression of gratitude was fun. 


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Tuesday, October 4, 2022, Joe Deeney

Although I kept my EYESONTHEPRIZE as I ZOOMEDALONG in this puzzle, I did not garner a TROPHY, CUP, MEDAL, or any other symbol of success because, dear Readers, I FWOED. The plaque ta the matter is, I entered 'cAV' for "Dallas baller" and failed to check the cross. When will I get UPTOSPEED on sports teams?!?! It sure would have been gneiss if I had thought to check. I think it would have been crystal clear that the answer to "Shimmery mineral" was MICA, not 'cICA.' Derp.

Anyhoo, I'm sure the super solvers among us secured all the prizes available in today's puzzle, which were identified by the circled I's that were literally on the prize - appearing above the first and last letter of the token of recognition that appeared within longer answers. My favorite was getting a TROPHY from an ASTROPHYSICIST, which seemed more exciting than taking a CUP from PLAYEDCUPID or snapping up a MEDAL as one ZOOMEDALONG


Now award about some of the C/APs I enjoyed. I thought "Elbow" for PROD, "Lengthy attack" for SIEGE, and "Spent some time in the cellar" for AGED all deserved honorable mention. The reward for a careful reading of "Réunion, par exemple" was the fun answer ILE.

I also enjoyed "Tot's transport" (TRIKE), and the fun fact that "Harley-Davidson, on the N.Y.S.E." is HOG. SCRAWL, PHILIPPPIC, and CRAZE serve as fine decorations. 

Also, nice ribbon classic email disasters with "Risky email button to hit accidentally" (REPLYALL) and its companion "Dangerous email button to hit accidentally" (SEND) - crowning achievements in communication slip-ups.   


Monday, October 3, 2022

Monday, October 3, 2022, Sarah Sinclair

Many of today's theme answers are, I think Horace will be happy to learn, unknown to me - well, not the answers per se, but the DATINGAPP name at the beginning of each one. I have heard of Tinder (TINDERDRY) - a friend of mine just got a job there - but the others, Hinge (HINGEUPON), Match (MATCHPOINT), and Bumble (BUMBLEBEES) no. Fortunately, there were many clues ANODE the answers to - "Good, in Guatemala (BIEN), "State known for potatoes" (IDAHO), and the grim "Gives the Anne Boleyn treatment" (BEHEADS) - ANDSO, there was no need for that particular knowledge for a successful solve. Nice bonus theme material with GHOST ("Stop replying to, as on a 59-Across"). 


Other clues that fit my profile included the entertaining "Pirate's pal" (MATEY), "Ballet, e.g., in French" (DANSE), "Many an expat" (EMIGREE), "Mac alternatives" (PCS), and "Beaver's job" (DAMMING) - heh. I also enjoyed the pair of vampire clues (SLAYER and STAKE) and the SET of tennis clues. 

I wish all who seek to find ACUTE partner that they GOAD well together with the best of luck. 


Sunday, October 2, 2022

Sunday, October 2, 2022, Kathy Bloomer


OK, so yesterday, we find "b.s. meter" in the puzzle, and today, at 1-Across, no less, we've got ASSHAT. Hah! ASSHAT. It's such an excellent word. Somebody, somewhere, came up with that one day. I wonder if they knew it would take off? Anyway, I'm all for a certain level of decorum, and to be honest, "b.s. meter" is pushing it, but I've got no problem with ASSHAT. See, I've written it three times already in this review. I mean, we're all grown-ups, right? And sticks and stones, etc. ... 


When I saw the title today, I wondered if we'd have a French theme, but no, instead the gag is to add an "LE" to a word in a well-known expression and then clue wackily. "Skip a beat," becomes SKIPABEATLE (Says "John, Paul ... and Ringo"?), and a "class trip" becomes CLASSTRIPLE (The three R's? [sic]).

It was an amusing theme. Maybe the best is "Loss of the winning ticket?" (LOTTERYPICKLE), or do you prefer the crossover WORDLEOFMOUTH (M_U_H?)?

I actually FWOE'd at LOTTERYPICKLE, because I had entered KInK for (Bit of spice, figuratively), and I didn't notice that LOTTERYPInKLE didn't really make sense. 

And speaking of making sense, it took me a few beats to understand that "Boos" and HONEYS were both talking about significant others. 

"Spam generator" was cute for HORMEL, and it was followed up with "Spam containers" (TINS). And I enjoyed finding two poetry-related entries - ENID (Oklahoma city named for a character in a Tennyson poem), and right smack-dab in the middle, POETS (Sappho and Mirabai). And finally, I appreciated the "Big Lebowski" reference in "They might tie the room together" (AREARUGS), and I  enjoyed the straightforward trickery of "It's a slippery slope" (SLIDE). :)

A fun romp. Tomorrow, Frannie takes the reins, and I'll see you in a few weeks. Enjoy!

- Horace

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Saturday, October 1, 2022, Natan Last

"Pride goeth," eh? As D. I. Thursday might say. Yesterday so fast, today so slow. And a FWOE to boot! (I didn't know the author or the school). But let's stop being so cryptic.

GALLERIA Vittorio Emanuele II

This was a fun, challenging, Saturday puzzle. I was happy with myself for remembering TONELOC ("Funky Cold Medina" rapper), and for being able to enter AARON (M.L.B. career leader in total bases) without crosses, but even with IVORY (____ tower) next to it, that NW corner was tough to the end! MECHA (Anime and manga genre involving robots) was not going to come to me, and I had a hard time seeing "Lead" as MAIN. "Bit of shelter" (EAVE) took me ages!

It's fun to have GERTRUDESTEIN (Who wrote "In the morning there is meaning, in the evening there is feeling") lying alongside TONELOC. I think they'd both enjoy the proximity. And I'm not thinking of it in a POSENUDE way, just in an interesting juxtaposition way. 

I liked the conversational answers like YESYOU, ONESEC, and even SHOOEDAWAY (Waved at, maybe), and it's always nice when simple answers like PEN ("The tongue of the soul," per Cervantes) and MEMO (Format of some N.S.A. leaks) are elevated by their clues. See also: "Part of the mind that is 'like all propagandists, relentlessly repetitive,' per Adam Phillips" - although SUPEREGO is, itself, an interesting entry. 

I like a challenge on a Saturday, and for me, this fit the bill nicely.

- Horace