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


  1. My streak is at 77 now, but this took quite a while to solve because I, like Horace, noticed things not making sense, etc. for a long time before I figured out what was going on. After that, I filled the grid in quickly. Could people be yelling "TAXI" on the street instead of it being printed somewhere? Maybe that's what was meant. I'm not sure who does that any more, though. Don't people just get an Uber now? I needed most of the crosses for MIOCENE even though I recently watched a series entitled "Voyage of the Continents" that went over that very thing. Anyway, fun Sunday diversion, as usual.

  2. I didn't get the theme until after if mistakenly "finished" the solve, I went back and just corrected entries that didn't look like real words. When I finally got the "congrats" signal, I took some time to admire the construction. The fill alone is fantastic, with entries like I'M NOT A ROBOT, NICE AND SLOW, CORNER THE MARKET, etc. I didn't get the *entire* theme (with the clues) until I came here, so thanks! :-)

  3. As soon as I read it the title of the puzzle I figured there were answers which spanned several parts of the grid (or something of the sort), but when I didn't see any dashes as clues I wasn't quite so sure. But it took me until kinda late in the solve to figure out what was going. I couldn't figure out how "NES" for the revealer revealed anything (I add "ne" to each answer or what?)

    So it is my kind of theme and I totally agree about some good answers like IMNOTAROBOT.