Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Thursday, April 20 2023, Simeon Seigel

 Before we dive in, more about me.  When you're solving online, you know when you complete the grid and you get that "Grr" message?  I have my own way of subclassifying that - I've either made a typo, which I don't personally count as a FWOE (or FWTE, etc.), or I've really made an error, which in my view does count.  Which brings me to this diabolical gem of a puzzle, with four mystifying clues, a suspicious abundance of Z's, and no hint as to what's going on until you reach the revealer near the end - in order for the theme answers to make sense, they have to be rotated clockwise, with each letter taking on a new identity!  Hence all the Z's, which become N's upon rotation.  And H becomes I, U becomes C, W becomes E (a tiny bit of a stretch, that one) and O becomes ... well, you get the picture.  Read in situ, the answers make no sense, and before I reached the revealer, my faith in the crossing answers was stretched paper-thin, even though they were for the most part straightforward (in retrospect anyway).  I spent the last few minutes with my head tilted counterclockwise to visualize what the answers were supposed to be.  For example, we all know the Mazda catchphrase ZOOMZOOM, which I had written in as such, but in its rotated form (unrotated form really), it's EOONEOON!  That's the one I had left in its rotated state and caused the page to complain.

Goodness, what a soliloquy!  This is what keeps me so enthusiastic about crossword puzzles - this kind of inventiveness.  Well done Mr. Seigel!!

Theme aside, I found most of the content fairly tame and easy.  Loved "Shifty type" for UPPERCASE, which was actually a helper in the reveal.  COZEN brought back memories of last year's ACPT, as one of the two words I choked on and cost me about 40 places in the standings.  (Get over it already, Philbo!!!)  Always neat to see the same clue in two different places ("Last in a series", meaning both NTH and ZEE, the latter being a common misspelling of ZED, ha ha).  And Mongolian death worm - who knew??

I'll spare you all a run of the puns this time round.  A fine puzzle today, with such a satisfying "aha"!

Until next time, adios amigos!



  1. Yeesh. Did I need to see the terror of the GOBI at 7am? Well, yes, I guess I did. Remind me never to go there.

    What a puzzle! Like you, Philbo, I was pretty suspicious of 11D starting out WEOUZ... and 24D with its ZOUU.. Heh. Fun reveal!

    Loved "It comes and goes" for FAD. Apt! And "More or less, in time" was great for CIRCA. Great start to the Turn. :)

  2. What held me up was my inability to see H as a sideways I. Took me forever! Frustrating because I knew the answers but just couldn't see that H. Finally the cross words bullied me into getting it right, in spite of myself. :-)

  3. I had absolutely no idea what was going on for a long time, but then I saw the clue for 63A, and figured it out. Even then, I had to crane my neck and convince my brain I wasn't looking at sideways letters. "innocence" just wouldn't click. I was sure it ended in ____ENuE, like "ingenue," which didn't have enough letters. Finally I just filled in the crosses and got it. Woof! 10:13.