Thursday, January 19, 2023

Thursday, January 19, 2023, Daniel Bodily

The answer to today's theme-revealer clue "Accumulate charges ... or what you must do to answer four clues in this puzzle" (RUNUPATAB) explains the trick for understanding the theme answers. In four cases, to get the complete answer to the clue, you go from the end of the first part of the answer, follow the letter TAB up the grid and then include the Across answer you get to. Maybe an illustration will help. For the clue at 57A: "All-you-can-eat venues with elbows and bow ties" the answer is PAST[ABARS]:


Two of the first parts of the theme answers are also words in their own right (PAST and WENT[ABROAD], which is extra nice.

Because it's Thursday, thanks to the Down answers, I started filling in what I knew had to be partial answers, like PAST above, even before getting to the revealer. In fact, the northeast went so smoothly, I  didn't even notice the theme entry SANT[ABABY] ("Holiday hit by Eartha Kitt") while solving. I did have to take it into account when I ran into trouble in the northwest corner. I couldn't get the tricky "Close ones" (PALS) at 1A  or the ambiguous (to me) "Starting on" (ASOF) at 2D, and wasn't sure where things were going with "'I'm all ears'" (LAYITONME). I also had no idea what postseason game is played in Phoenix. To further expose my sports shortcomings, I had entered NhlTEAM for "Timberwolves, e.g." at 5D (I have never heard of AON ("Multinational financial services firm"), so yeah, not what you'd call BIGBATS up there for this solver. However, after taking inventory of the grid, I did know I needed one more theme answer, so I took everything I wasn't sure of out of that corner and started again. Finally, I was able to celebrate success with FIEST[ABOWL]. Although it was another slowish solve time for me, it was a cool double number: 24:24.


I liked the C/AP "Pamper" (BABY), "Word after circle or square" (DANCE), and "It may have a down side" (ESCALATOR) was fun. Fill-wise, I liked HENCHMAN, LEMMA, DEARTH, and SHREWD.

In an odd turn of events, both "Despacito," a song by LUIS Fonsi (apparently) and Lil NAS X were mentioned in Jeopardy! last night. 



  1. I enjoyed it, especially once a uncovered the reveal. Nice change o' pace.

  2. If I remember correctly, I solved today's (Thursday) six seconds faster than tomorrow's (Friday); I can't always keep up with commenting. Nice trick today, and all good theme answers. HENCHMAN is good, but I thought the clue was a little generic. Isn't it usually used in reference to kind-of a bad guy? I mean, I wouldn't use that to indicate a "trusted supporter" in any above-boards connotation. Maybe it's just me. Love a LEMMA, of course!

  3. Fun Thursday! I really like that the second part of the theme answers are not clued with "-". In order to do that, they have to be words in their own right, and all of them are. The clue for 15A: Get the ball rolling, in a way (BOWL) is particularly good.