Thursday, December 15, 2022

Thursday, December 15, 2022, Bruce Haight

I'm always pleased to see Dr. Haight's byline on a crossword puzzle. I know that I'll see a solidly constructed grid with a fun, often punny theme. So please understand that when I say I'm disappointed in today's offering, it has nothing to do with the quality of the puzzle. I think it's a solid Wednesday puzzle. I'm confused as to why it's running on a Thursday, the day I look forward to tricksy theme material. I have to assume that Mr. Shortz and company are running short (see what I did there?) on appropriate puzzles for the day.

With that out of the way, let's celebrate the excellence of the VICHYSSOISE soup. The origin of the name is debated, but presumed to be after the town that unfortunately is also the namesake of the Fascist occupation government of France during World War II. Nonetheless, the ingredients are simple, and in the grid are clued with the recipe instructions for each one. Take "Two pounds, peeled and chopped" NEWPOTATOES, cook in "Five cups, after lengthy simmering" CHICKENSTOCK, add "One cup, after cooling" HEAVYCREAM, with "Four cups, cleaned and sliced" SAUTEEDLEEKS. Yum, yum, and yum.

BESS Houdini

The corners of the grid are nicely chunky, with the SE being the most scrabbly. Here QVC, BBQRIBS and EXCEEDS make the tile value of this real estate soar.

Dr. Haight's sense of humor comes out with the successive clues at 28A: Lose (GETBEAT) and 30A: Don't lose (WIN). I also enjoyed the prankish GOTCHA and 44A: Missionary work? (BIBLE). 

Otherwise it's a strong and fun but reasonably straightforward puzzle.

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I ever tasted it, but now I want to...a lot! Only does it have to be eaten cold, I wonder? And can you use canned CHICKEN BROTH rather than cook a whole chicken just to get the broth? Anyway, while surprised a bit at the straightforwardness of the puzzle, I liked it.