Friday, April 28, 2023

Friday, April 28, 2023, Malaika Handa and Erik Agard

Sometimes Fridays are tougher than Saturdays in the crossword world. Of course, I can't be certain of this fact with today's puzzle vis-à-vis tomorrow's, but it played hard for me. Some of that is clearly due to the expert construction of Ms. Handy and Mr. Agard, and some of it is on me as solver for my missteps.

I broke in somewhat with 9D: Literary stand-in for Christ (ASLAN - it's always the Narnian lion for the crossword friendly letters), PAD and GULP, which confirmed LIMONCELLO. I was even able to put in UNIX, EXALT, and ATOLL. Despite that, I confused myself by thinking that 15A: What plastic wrap is designed for (ONETIMEUSE) was going to end in ____rEUSE. Makes sense, doesn't it? Sort of? For the reuse of food?

Anyway, I had little bits here and there. ALTO and TENOR went right in. 35A: Panels at anime conventions (MANGA) took a while, but was helped by AGNES Varda and 36D: Provider of a broad world view (ATLAS) - cute!

My hard-won geographic knowledge didn't help much with the geography clues here. 45A: World capital whose last two letters are its first two letters upside down (MOSCOW) is sort of cheating, if you ask me. An O is always itself upside down. It's like one in multiplication or zero in addition - it's an identity. 62A: World capital on the Aker River (OSLONORWAY) was an unexpected inclusion of the country.

Fortunately, ESTONIA went in off of crosses, because I don't know the language at all.


For long answers, WHITEYONTHEMOON is an amazing ROI (Reference of Interest). The poem is powerful, and a puncturing statement to American exceptionalism. Worth the quick read.

ICHOOSEYOU felt a little ad hoc, but I love the term THIRSTTRAP, and APOTHEOSIS is an excellent entry. 26D: One eating a lot of wings (INSECTIVORE) is a brilliant misdirect, and also a little bit queasiness inducing. 

Clues I enjoyed include 11A: Hollow, perhaps (LAIR) - the noun, rather than the adjective. 43A: This old thing? (RELIC) - nicely done! 65A: Scar line? (ROAR) - referring to the character from The Lion King with a nice hidden capital.

Tomorrow, Horace takes over a day early, as I will be in Ireland and the United Kingdom for two weeks. See you on the other side!

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy your trip, Colum, and thanks for the week!