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


  1. Well, a nice, breezy 52 minutes for my on-paper solve. But I did finish with a clean puzzle. The last fifteen, or so, minutes were spent in the southwest corner. My biggest issues were first entering ALLTIMEbest and Getto, then GetaT for "Reach." And I kept wanting wafts for "Puffs. And how random is the fact that IDAHO is slightly larger than New England?? And, while I'm at it, ARO??? But I do enjoy a chalenging Saturday, and it was a pleasant 52 minutes sitting in my Halloween-decorated study. Agree on CHESSMOVE. I think the constructors were a little too enamored with the punny clue for that one. I had the same thought/confusion on COASTLINES, but one definition of recession is receding. Sea-level rise would push coastlines back, right? Finally, how about Ass and Toilet in the same grid? Love the "Facilities" clue for the latter.

  2. I noticed ASS and TOILET, also. Unusual. I solved this one in just over 20 minutes, so it went pretty smoothly overall. EMPTYNESTER was nice; I was expecting something with "retiree" in it. CHESSMOVE was a stretch.