Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Wednesday, December 20, 2023, Brad Wiegmann

In preparation for writing this review, I read the Wikipedia articles about ANN LANDERS and DEAR ABBY, pseudonyms of two WOMENOFLETTERS - a nice reference to their careers writing what you might call STEERINGCOLUMNS - who were also identical twins. I suppose in light of the guidance they offered, and the fact that they were twins, you could call them POINTERSISTERS. I learned that the twins' birth names were Esther Pauline Friedman and Pauline Esther Friedman. Esther, who wrote as Ann Landers, began her column first. Pauline, writing as Abigail Van Buren, or Dear Abby, started her competing column later, sparking an estrangement between the two. I wonder what advice others might have given them about patching things up. :) As I reviewed the puzzle, I thought PAIRS, DNA, NOTED, and  DRMOM might be considered bonus theme material. 

Esther Pauline | Pauline Esther

In the course of my solve, I hit two trouble spots. First piece of advice when solving crossword puzzles: read the clue carefully. I first entered WOMaNOFLETTERS at 20A because I missed the plural in the clue. Fortunately, EULER ("Swiss mathematician who introduced functional notation") has been in the puzzle often enough that I realized that 'aULER' was a mistake. The second piece of advice: brush up on sports and botanical topics. When faced with the cross of "N.B.A.'s Westbrook, to fans" and "Stiff bristle, botanically," I was ATSEA. After running the alphabet, I finally settled on RUSS/ARISTA as the most likely pair, and that was correct, but the time loss was a BLOW.

Elsewhere, I thought "Showstoppers?" for ADS was nice, as was "Best effort" for AGAME. I enjoyed the Socrates quote, "He is richest who is content with the LEAST" - I'll try to keep that in mind this holiday season! OTH, while I didn't get hung up on TUSKER ("Elephant or warthog, e.g."), I didn't love it, either. I did like that the fill featured a number of words with non-English origins like TOILE, MOI, EMOJI, CANTATA, BOERS, AMONRA, NINJA, and IMARET that spiced things up a bit. 


1 comment:

  1. I had the same problem areas as you. And I didn't realize that the two sisters were estranged! Interesting review! :)