Friday, March 17, 2023

Friday, March 17, 2023, Carter Cobb

A nice open, challenging Friday grid today. The kind of puzzle that puts up resistance the whole way, as it falls in place little by little. Things you didn't really know you knew, but which made sense once they came together. Like JUMPSCARES (Staples of horror movies). For a while, I wondered if there was an actor named Staples that I didn't know, but as it turned out, there is a term for those moments in horror movies. And DRAGMOTHER (Queen with a protégé). Did not know the term, but it makes sense. 

ALFRE Woodard

Better, in puzzles like this, are the answers that come into focus and get a chuckle (because as we all learned yesterday - make me laugh and I will like you). For example: BEAUTYREST (Retirement plan whose prospects are looking good?) Beautiful. "Isn't for you?" (ARENT) is a classic. And "Join a boxer rebellion? (GOCOMMANDO). Heh. I admit, I've been a part of that army at times...

"One seeing stars upon waking, perhaps" (EARLYRISER) wasn't exactly funny, but it did get a little grunt of acknowledgement. In a good way. :)

As something of an imaging specialist myself, I enjoyed the double "Alternatives to GIFs" clues (JPGS and BITMAPS), although ... are BITMAPS really considered a viable alternative these days? I feel like they were almost out of date when I first heard of them back in the 90s. Heh.

Didn't love SNIFFED (Examined, as a dog might). Too gross. But PROSAIC and STOKE are good words, and EVENSTEVEN is fun. Also - "It's just past due" (TRE) very good. I feel like I've seen it before, but I was both fooled and delighted again by the Italian. And speaking of fun clues, "Pivotal part of a revolution" (HUB) is a nice quiet one. As is "Well, essentially" (HOLE). Hah!

It's a debut, but Mr. Cobb already seems like he's well on his way to being a PRO.

- Horace


  1. Indeed, this seemed challenging, but I finished in a respectable (for me) 23:50, so it wasn't too bad. JUMPSCARES was one of my final entries because I had the ____SC____ for a bit and wanted ____SCenES, but then I got the _UMPSC__ES, and scenes didn't work. Also, I tried DRAGMentoR for a bit in the SW, but that didn't quite work. BLUEWHALES was also a nice answer. PHARAOHANT looks odd in the grid, but I had PHARAOH___ off of the clue, so that didn't slow me down. As an aside, Frannie and Horace may be interested in the article beginning on page 24 of this week's Worcester Living magazine (

  2. I thought it was challenging, too. BITMAPS, as clued, was a head-scratcher. Ditto HARD PAN. Ditto SAMMICH. Grateful for the clue for PHARAOH ANT.