Friday, December 15, 2023

Friday, December 15, 2023, Alex Tomlinson

This begins with a word from pretty much my favorite poem from Fatal Interview, that begins:

Love is not all; it is not meat nor drink 
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating SPAR to me that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;

So right off the bat I'm on board. And off of that word we have a solid pair of tens - PASTRYCHEF (One whose work might be a piece of cake?) and ALOHASHIRT (Bit of attire seldom worn with a jacket). Add a little Carl Sagan (PALE blue dot) and we're off to a very good start.

Maradona in BOCA Juniors uniform

Over in the NE we have the stepped stack of HANGTIME (Desire for a ski jumper) (maybe a tad easy?), CANYOUNOT ("Knock it off!," in question form) (nice), and SALTEDNUTS (Classic airplane snack) (aahh, the good old days). 

It's no wonder that I was not familiar with the word "Nephalist" (TEETOTALER). It derives from the Greek for "sober." That prefix is a little too close to "necro-" for my liking, though, so I think I will continue to steer clear of both of them. 

The SW was where I took the most time today. Not being an AVIDREADER myself, the clue "Bookie?" gave me nothing. Heh. "Bad press, say" was a tricky clue for MEDIABIAS, and while an ASSEMBLY is indeed an "Occasion to recite the Pledge of Allegiance," it was not really on the tip of my tongue. Ah well, it all came together in the end. How'd you like it?

- Horace

p.s. It's sonnet XXX, and it ends:

Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.


  1. I always learn something from you, Horace! I found this one fiendishly, satisfyingly difficult. Tough going in a fairly fragmented grid..

  2. I did not find this one as difficult as you. In related news, Saturday's puzzle tripped me up.