Monday, April 1, 2024

Monday, April 1, 2024, Alan Arbesfeld

OK, I wrote yesterday about the new Fagliano Era at the NYTX, and I was all ready to make a big thing about basically a Thursday puzzle running on a Monday today, but then as I was starting this review I typed "Monday, April 1," and I thought - "Oh. Riiiggghhhhht. It's April Fool's Day." So maybe it's just a one-off for the special day, but still - it was a little surprising. (See also Connections today!) 


The trick is that six answers turn out to be turned up, and we must interpret them in different ways to make the clues make sense. "Malfunctioning, literally?" is entered Down as GNITCA, but if looked at the other way, it is "Acting up." "Lunar omen in a 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival hit, literally?" is NOOMDAB, or "Bad Moon rising." Then in the bottom half we have to interpret REVILO for "Former N.S.C. staffer at the center of the Iran-Contra affair, literally?" as "Oliver North." And finally, one that proves my point about things being a little different is "Make a rude gesture with one's finger, literally?" (DRIBEHT) is "Flip the bird." 

So, with all this, it played a little harder than a Monday usually does, but not too much, thanks to the rest of the answers being straightforward. At least to regular crossword solvers, who will see a four letter answer being clued with "Nabisco cookie," and a three-letter with "Scot's denial," and answer OREO and NAE without even thinking. Some, though, were obvious to the point of almost being confusing, like "Mother, affectionately" is MOMMY. Doesn't that feel a little odd? Especially after entering MAMA at 6-Down?

I suppose I have to mention DANTEAN (Reminiscent of work by the 14th-century author of "Inferno," and how it crosses BEEB (U.K. news source, with "the") - I hope that didn't trip people up - but really I'd rather not, because I, for one, welcome our new crossword puzzle overlords. This was a fun one.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. I wonder how many Monday-only solvers tried this and at some point just said "Nope." ;) Really enjoyed this one!