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


  1. I was totally in the "SEMIMINOR. Nothing could be more wholesome or natural!” crowd. Well except that I didn't quite parse the "half" at first and was trying to do "minor something or other" or the like until I realized that the missing bit was the "semi" which fit the grid and the meaning.

    1. ISOGON on the other hand was new to me. Not too hard to understand from its individual parts ISO+GON but I don't recall seeing it anywhere before.