Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sunday, January 29, 2023, Rich Katz


Hello Dear Reader, Horace here, back for another week of talking about the little black and white squares. When I saw the title today, I was ONALERT for a Star Trek theme, and, well, the revealer is SPACETRAVEL, but here it's not traveling through space, it's the traveling of space - the space between two words, that is. Hah! Very nice. 


This theme seems tailor-made for a crossword, or an old Latin text, because in both there are no spaces between words. All the letters just run together and we are left to do the parsing as necessary to make sense of things. So when we see DEATHEATER, we can either think of creatures in Harry Potter, or we can make it into the "Staging of a narc sting?" or "DEA theater." Harry Potter enters into it again at 77D "Terrific messenger at Hogwarts?" (SUPERBOWL). And in other areas we can look at PARKAVENUE and think of N.Y.C., or we can think of the Iditarod, a "parka venue" if ever there were one. Heh.

So, good theme, and there's a lot of it, but somehow we still have lots of fun, long entries like TEASEDHAIR (What a beehive is made of) (Nice!), PROMPOSALS (Portmanteau invitations) (Never heard this before, but I chuckled), HORSESENSE (Street smarts), and RIGAMAROLE (Frustrating process). That last reminds me of a colleague who likes to talk about all the "Rigamaroo" at work. Heh.

"Sovereign's singular" (ROYALWE) is lovely. "Metric for a Met, for short" is a wonderful clue for RBI. And "Series of trade discounts?" is a straight-up cryptic clue for AEIOU

Overall, I thought this was an out-of-this-world Sunday with a real GOODEARTH. A very promising debut! 

How'd you like it?

- Horace


  1. I loved it! Kudos, Horace, on crushing me on the Sat xword, by the way. I did this one almost two min faster - a very enjoyable 12:52. I just kinda worked my way thru and let the theme reveal itself naturally, which became apparent about 3/4 of the way thru. I always like it when the theme answers are both across and down. As a father of kids who were high school grads not that long ago - PROMPOSAL is a very familiar term. (And on a related note, I was hoping for COOLDAD, but the MOM in this house is cool too)
    One thing tripped me up. I've always thought it was RIGMAROLE (one fewer 'A').

    1. Philbo - I'm sorry for even mentioning it, but it was so surprising and so rare. On this grid, for example, my 23:45 is nearly double your time. And frankly, all seems right again in the world.

      And I think that in my dictionary the first A is optional.

  2. I'd never heard PROMPOSAL either, and liked GOODEARTH best of the bunch, even though they were all pretty good. Maybe CATCHAIR is a close second. Definitely nothing to really MOANABOUT. Took me the regular time for a Sunday, around 35 minutes.