Saturday, April 22, 2023

Saturday, April 22 2023, Byron Walden

On this chilly rainy Saturday, I had an almighty struggle with today's crossword.  Not sure if it's just me not firing on all cylinders, or if the puzzle was just super hard (please weigh in, people!)...if the latter, than big kudos to Mr. Walden for bending my mind for 14 and a half minutes!  I hunted and pecked all over the grid looking for a way in, with numerous tentative answers that later had to be backed out; e.g.

  • TAP instead of TSK ("Click that is often doubled" - great misdirection on this one)
  • ACE instead of WIZ ("Crackerjack")
  • OKIES instead of IOWAS ("People for whom a state is named" - I'll play the Canuck card on this one)
  • MUMPS instead of MANGE ("Canine affliction" - ok, this was dumb of me)
Finally a few easy ins - BEER for "Word with belly or barrel",  JINX ("Spoil, superstitiously") and CITY ("It has its limits") and it started to flow, albeit slowly.  I find in most puzzles, one hits a critical mass after which the whole thing (mostly) falls into place, but not this one.  The NE corner, with its EAUI sequence in 18A, didn't make any sense until it finally did.  I couldn't make any sense of the bottom centre either, until QUEERLIT became apparent for "Genre for 'Fun Home' and 'Stone Butch Blues'".  

I learned a thing or two along the way; e.g. a dead letter is a NIXIE, there's a such a thing as a WARBLOG, Ika is SQUID, the heart has a TOROIDAL magnetic field (though what else could it be, really).. SITS for "Tends to a minor issue?" was clever, as was KERNEL for "Ear lobe?" <-- my favourite I think.  I will forgive the misspelling of SALTPETRE 😉..

So this brings my weekly blogging stint to an end.  It has been fun!  I hope I've held up my end adequately, and I look forward to taking the reins again in three weeks.  Meanwhile, happy weekend everybody!



  1. Played very hard for me. Just some entries I plain didn't know. NADERITE, the EX-MET Piazza, HEBREW U, QUEER LIT, WAR BLOG. Fun seeing JUJUBE. Had CAN'T MISS for way too long. And NIXIE is a cute word. Enjoyed your week, Philbo -- thank you!

  2. Very tough Saturday for me as well! Just over 12 minutes. Weirdly it's an F short of a pangram as well. Definitely not SOEASY.