Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Tuesday, January 3, 2023, Margaret Seikel

Well, I spoke too soon yesterday. The second test and the confirmatory PCR came back positive for COVID. So I'm on an enforced vacation this week. Turns out it's not so much fun lying around when you don't feel so great.

Thankfully, I have the New York Times Crossword puzzle to take my attention off of this stuff, even for a brief period of time. Ms. Seikel offers us a puzzle which takes the principle of disruption and literalizes it. MOVEFASTAND / BREAKTHINGS leads to three phrases which begin with TH and end with ING. I'm not sure if the moving fast part was also meant to be literalized. People did not move very quickly in THEWESTWING ("walk and talks" indeed). On the other hand, I am reminded while thinking about moving quickly, of Joan Cusack in "Broadcast News." One of the most hilarious scenes.

One version of ARAMIS

In the realm of potentially winking bonus theme material, we also find 60A: "If it ____ broke, don't fix it" (AINT). Perhaps Ms. Seikel is offering some much needed advice to the plethora of start-ups in the modern era?

Using Frances's new abbreviation, ROI (References of Interest), we find things like the ROSETTA Stone (when I first glanced at the clue, I almost stuck ROlling in there, but clearly incorrect); MEGCABOT, a name I would never have filled in without multiple crossings, and SHARIA crossing ISLAM. Sally ROONEY writes with style, even if I don't always love her plot material.

In any case, I would never give this puzzle ONESTAR. SEEMSOK to me. 3:56, a little slow for a Tuesday.

- Colum


  1. Oh no Colum! COVID! Though with the plethora of bugs making the rounds, I'm not sure how much it matters any more, that it's COVID. Hope it's mild and not too long-lasting.

    Lots of names in this puzzle I needed basically all the crossers for. I also didn't love ATONER. Overall an OK crossword IMO.. 3:22 for me, not terrible for Tuesday (but I don't have COVID :) )


    1. Thanks, Phil! I think it's starting to get better, but these things move slow.

  2. As far as I know, I am COVID free, but that didn’t help me get into the three-minute range on this one. :) I enjoyed the probably unintended bursts of angry Down entries that contributed to the breaking of things like AMOK, STORMSIN, AND RAGES.

  3. I was in the 7s, which is OK for me for a Tuesday. Neither MEGCABOT or Sally ROONEY are known to me, but all crosses were fair. And while I've heard good [THING]s about THEWESTWING, I've not yet viewed it. There's just so much to watch these days, and I am loath to spend a great deal of my day in front of the TV; normally only during meals, which limits it nicely. Good to see the CAPO in there, though the guitarists that I play alongside are usually unwilling to use one for various technical reasons. I, on the other hand, will transpose my keyboard if necessary, which doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

  4. Today I discovered what the theme is by coming to my own blog! Thanks, Colum! :)