Saturday, July 22, 2023

Saturday, July 22, 2023, Robert Logan

Apologies to our readers for yesterday's SNAFU, and LETT me just say how grateful I am to Horace for filling in. Also, how sad I am to have missed reviewing a fine Robyn Weintraub concoction.

However, today's is certainly no slouch! A lot more challenging than your typical Saturday, for this solver. I wasn't sure about anything in the NW to NE segment, until SERENADE and "snafu." Even then, I had to continue down the spiral to the bottom section. I was able to put in PANAMAS (nice bit of ROI there), as well as SSN, ATWT, PSI, and LINT, but I wasn't seeing the longer answers.

LATKES and LON were enough to finally get some traction. I also did not know that Baryshnikov was ethnically a Lett. Sometimes with this sort of puzzle you just need enough of the crossing letters for the long answers to see what they're getting at. I now also had DALI and EDGARS in place, and finally saw 45A: Academic umbrella (ARTSANDLETTERS). SOULBROTHERS and EPICENTERS followed.

I surely wanted "soft G" for 36A: General starting point? (CADET). It's nice when the tendency to assume really tricky Saturday level cluing can trip you up. 30A: Report on a match (IMETSOMEONE) is very good, but much sillier is 27A: Ones at the bar for a few drafts? (HANGGLIDERS). Wow, that's some twisted reparsing!

Great to see Hope's high school classmate SUSANRICE get the full NYT crossword treatment. 20D: Some seals (SIGNETS) was beautifully vague.


Finally, I worked my way back across the northern segment, with only the endings in place. 7D: Mind reading, in brief? (EEG) was tough. It couldn't be ESP, because that was too straightforward. At the same time, let's be clear: an EEG does no interpretation of the mind. Only of the electrical activity that is able to be picked up through the bone of the skull with ludicrously sensitive electrodes... 

Was that too much Neuro geeking? Oh, well. It's what you get for reading a review by a Neurologist.

HOMEREMEDIES was the one I first got, followed by DOUBLEDOGDARES and finally 1A: Turnovers on a football field, maybe? (CARTWHEELS). I'm not sure why the football field portion of the clue was necessary, except to mislead the meaning of the first word. I guess cheerleaders might do cartwheels there, but I don't think many others are.

11D: Something one can pay for free (HOMAGE) is very well done. We should all do this. I suppose I am doing this right now to Mr. Logan. Great job, sir!

- Colum


  1. Super puzzle! I related to the clue for CARTWHEELS, taking me back to my high school days when I blew my cheerleader's try-out by concentrating too much on the "turnover" and forgetting how to spell "SPIRIT" and instead, exhorting the judges to... well, SPIT. (Sheesh!) A beautiful grid, wonderful clues, and some great entries.

    1. Geddy Lee and Rush would tip their hats to you! (how's that for an oblique, oblique reference?!)