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


  1. A mild pleasant crossword today, with no real impediments. I had never heard the term SCAREQUOTES before! (Nor EMORAP for that matter) 2:45; always nice to break the 3 min barrier on a Monday :)

    Happy Hallowe'en all!

  2. IAGREE with Philbo on never having heard of (or heard) EMORAP, but it was easily inferred from the clue. Very nicely done puzzle and quite enjoyable on an early Monday morning. (We continue our now 18-year streak of zero trick-or-treaters here on our private road.) Busy weekend for me, so I'm catching up with some commenting now.

  3. Not quite into Philbo territory, but oh so close - 3:06 today - my fastest time ever!

  4. That's totally Philbo territory!! Happy November! We had a trick-or-treater "surge" last night - ran out of treats and had to extinguish the jack o' lanterns shortly after 8:00 ...

    1. We had a total of 18 trick-or-treaters. Too much candy left over for our health. You'd think we'd learn... or are we doing it accidentally on purpose??