Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Wednesday, May 17 2023, Parker Higgins

 It's Divide and Conquer today, with Splitsville being the theme of the day.  There are four pairs of Across answers in the grid, with adjacent sections of each pair - separated by a black square highlighted in grey.  As indicated by the answer in the middle of the grid - DOESTHESPLITS -  these section pairs, read together, reveal something that is commonly associated with the term "split".  For example, "Grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich" = CUBAN, and "Amazon swimmers" = ANACONDAS, side by side making BAN/ANA, which indeed often appears in a split.  We also have

  • SEVEN/TEN - the dreaded impossible split in bowling
  • STO/CK - securities are often split to make them more accessible and easier to buy
  • LICK/ETY - in the history of the English language, this word has never been written without being immediately followed by the word "split".  It's true!  Look it up!
So this is a neat little trick.  Because I'm such a spoiled solver, though, I think it would have been neater if the theme answers had all been two words like the SEVEN/TEN one.  Of course, ask me for examples and I am unable to provide.  How about I stop whining and give the puzzle the appreciation it deserves?

Which it does.  There were a few things in the puzzle that I had to look up - like EBRO (the longest river completely in Spain) and SER ("To be, in Havana") <-- there it is, a dreaded Natick.  And the SE corner was a disaster, as I'd never heard of the San Bernardino suburb of LOMALINDA, and I have never heard "YAS queen!" as an enthusiastic cry - another Natick (Horace/Frannie/Colum, am I using the term correctly?) and that led me to a humiliating FWTE.  

There was plenty of fun/instructive stuff in here too : I did not know that KOA was a Hawaiian wood.  "High low voice" (TENOR) was amusing.  It was nice to see SANDRA Bullock - one of my favourite actors - make an appearance ... Can somebody please explain ETYMOLOGY to me, as the answer to "Old English, for better or worse"?  I feel like I'm missing something.

You're not getting my solving time today, as I made such a hash of things.  Better days ahead!



  1. FWTE here as well. I entered GnP for “Econ. indicator,” which is perfectly cromulent in and of itself, and SUREtY instead of SURELY, which is, perhaps, less cromulent, but I was confused by the clue (“To be certain”) and I was thus unable to correct either answer because I didn’t know LOMALINDA. So that section was Natick city for me. On the upside, “Rest of the day?” for SIESTA was fun and I love CANARD (“Unfounded rumor”). Sorry to say I can’t help with the ETYMOLOGY answer. I don’t get it either.

  2. The ETYMOLOGY of the words "better" and "worse" is from Old English, or Anglo Saxon. (I didn't know this...I just looked up both words in my handy-dandy desktop dictionary.) Thanks for the SANDRA Bullock shout-out -- now I want to watch "Miss Congeniality" for the umpteenth time!

    1. Oooh!! Thanks Kelly! This clue is now my favourite of the entire puzzle.