Saturday, December 30, 2023

Saturday, 30 December 2023, Simeon Seigel

Hello!  Philbo here, back with a vengeance today after a lukewarm performance yesterday - a friendly offering for a Saturday that took me just over 6 minutes to solve.  

A peripheral New Year's theme, perhaps added as an afterthought - eight circled letters around the edges of the grid read CONFETTI, and when you complete the puzzle, the black squares transform into festively colourful shapes.  So that was a nice surprise and a fun way to wrap up my week of blogging.  On second thought (and look), maybe it wasn't such an afterthought after all:  the black squares are all separate from one another - no two are adjacent - an impressive feat of setting and also distributes the confetti nice and evenly.  

Anchoring the puzzle are 6 grid-spanning clues - 3 across and 3 down - all of which took fairly few crossers to figure out; of course, that was a tremendous help to the solve.  I suspect that was the price paid for the unique layout - a bit of an easier shade to the clues.  Hidden within was one of my all-time favourites : "Strips in a club", which, belying its racy overtones, is BACON.  (Yes!!)  And crossing that one is "Craft at camp" (CANOE).  For me, these were the highlights in what was otherwise a fairly straightforward solve. 

A few other seasonal hints - "Hour at which to sing Auld Lang Syne" (XII, which works); and I learned that "Just Another New Year's Eve" contains the lyric "Tonight's another chance to start AGAIN", which smacks of rarely-kept New Year's resolutions.  Didn't know that Tolkein contributed "Waggle" and "Wild" to the OED - can that be right?  (Calls for some additional research.)

For those regular readers among you - the Eastern Townships has transformed itself overnight into a winter wonderland, with a dusting of snow covering the landscape.  Very pretty and finally Christmassy!  

I now pass you on to the esteemed Colum, who will usher in 2024.  I wish you all well in the new year!


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