Thursday, March 9, 2023

Thursday, March 9, 2023, Simeon Seigel

I hope everybody's week is going well! We're on the short end into the weekend, and that's a good thing.

Another good thing is the start of the Turn, our term for the Thursday-Friday-Saturday puzzling days. And today's puzzle is a fun start. I love the concept here, revealed by FLIPSIDES. The theme answers all have a solid black bar part of the way through the answer. If you take the second half and put it first, it is the actual answer for the clue as written, but the other way works as its own acceptable phrase as well.

Thus, 17A: *Defeat in a 100-meter dash, say (PRINTOUTS) is reinterpreted as "outsprints." What's so lovely about these answers is that each one ends in an S, which when it moves to the front, reparses the first half of the answer completely. TOOLBARS suddenly becomes "barstool;" ALEHOUSES is remade as "housesale;" WINGBACKS turns into "backswing;" and HOTHEADS is reimagined as "headshot." I had a lot of fun figuring out the switches.

PAUL Hewson (Bono) and his daughter Eve (from Bad Sisters)

Some fun clues outside of the theme:

1A: What slackers do vis-à-vis non-slackers (LESS) - so much clue for so little answer!

15A: Something a loafer lacks (LACE) - coming so soon after the previous clue, I was briefly misdirected to thinking about a slacker.

52D: Rear ends (DUFFS) - I never use that particular synonym. Perhaps it's time to start?

Otherwise, I enjoyed the pairs of long answers in the NE and SW corners, particularly ALOTTOLOSE and SECRETDOOR.

Fun Thursday, 8:11.

- Colum


  1. I'm totally mesmerized by the beauty of this construction. So much to love, especially the theme, naturally. (Colum, my Dad used to use the word DUFF -- as clued -- a lot, as in "Get off your duff and clean that room!") :-)

  2. I liked MET FOR “Matched” and was entertained by “Org. that sells large batteries, ironically” (AAA) - heh. I was also very happy to see a rare knitting reference (CASTSON) - now they are speaking my language! On a possibly related note, I was duped briefly by the clue, “Award for great plays” (ESPY).

    1. I thought of you with this clue also, just like Huygens! ESPY however was not a challenge for me.

  3. This one was fun! Juicy and challenging (7:57 for me). Excellent theme, and, like you Frances, I thought AAA was super clever. I was proud to dredge CASTSON out of who knows where...

  4. I thought of Frannie with CASTSON, a term with which I am unfamiliar and which required most crosses to get. And like Kelly, DUFFS was used around my house in the same context with which her father used it while growing up. ESPY was surprising, unlike EFLAT; this type of answer is expected and I never though to enter dpLus instead. We see lots of WATERSNAKES around here -- in the warmer weather, of course -- and we're trying to get the grandchildren to not be frightened of them as they swim by. They mostly mind their own business and we're way too big for them to want to waste any energy on. They want frogs, small fish and the occasional mouse or chipmunk, not a human. The theme was a great one, and I got in there with a respectable 12:39.

  5. A lot of DUFFS around here, it seems!