Saturday, September 9, 2023

Saturday, September 9 2023, Robert S. Gard

This was a fun and fairly straightforward puzzle today, made trickier by some errors right off the bat.  As I progressed and encountered one uncommon letter after another, my hopes of a Pangram grew - and it almost got there, missing just a 'J' in the grid.  I feel for the setter - he probably tried quite hard to find a place to fit that letter in.  A slight whiff of a LGBTQ theme as well, with QUEERTHEORY, GAYEST and (dare I say) FAIRY making appearances.  

What tripped me up (somewhat) was trying to be too cute on the very first clue, "Many opera villains, traditionally".  BASSI wouldn't fit so I entered BASSOS instead instead of the more straightforward BASSES.  Quickly followed that up with HOVERCRAFTS for "Some futuristic personal transports".  D'oh!  HOVERBOARDS it was.  With that damage repaired, progress became smoother.  I liked "Clipper's bounty" (COUPONS) as I was misled by thoughts of marine piracy.  

OVA ("Monthly releases?") was clever, and "Folds" was a good misleading clue for CAVES.  I found GOODFELLA acceptable for "Family man?", although I had to think about it a bit.  KELVINS was a welcome bit of physics as a unit of temperature.  The core part of my Master's research, back in the day, was to cool a certain crystal down to a few Kelvins, apply a gigantic magnetic field to it, and then bounce neutrons off it to see what would happen.  ("Spin waves", is what.)  All very elaborate, looking back.  

On the educational front, I did not know the aforementioned QUEERTHEORY was an actual branch of study.  BEREA as "the first coed/racially integrated college in the South" was new to me.  I had never heard of "Whim-whams" (NERVES).  Not having ever watched Greys Anatomy, LEXIE was an unknown.  So I come out of the other side of this puzzle a better man!  :)

Thanks for the week!  Tomorrow the esteemed Colum takes the reins...


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