Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thursday, April 18 2024, David Kwong

Well, that was fun!  I just wrapped up the Thursday crossword and then stared at it for two solid minutes before figuring out what the theme was.  In doing so, I had to enter answers to the six starred clues without comprehending them.  The revealer, the thrice-remade movie ASTARISBORN, finally made it all make sense.  We're instructed to re-parse it as six words, which at first looks impossible - but if you read it as 'A STAR IS B OR N', then aha!  It's telling us what to do with the stars on those clues.  So we have:

  • *Assist in a foursome = MCCARTNEY if the '*' is a 'B'.
  • *Allot time = ELECTIONDAY if the '*' is a 'B'.
  • *Acre on the ocean floor = MOTHEROFPEARL if the '*' is an 'N'.
  • *Ascent stage for a bird = HATCHLING if the '*' is an 'N'.
  • *Ice is found on it = RIVIERA if the '*' is an 'N'. <-- my favourite!  So nice and terse
  • *Ovid of Greek mythology = THECRETANBULL if the '*' is a 'B'.
Quite neat, not obvious (not to me), and I like the even distribution of 'B's and 'N's.  Six theme clues is also a lot to pack into a 15x15 grid. 

A bit of an unusual layout, not unpleasant, with little isolated areas in the NE and SW.  I thought "Money maven, for short" would be CPA but it's CFO, so that was a little hiccup.  I loved the ALI clue, with the factoid about his vertically-mounted marker on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - this is what keeps us coming back!  And indeed, coding loops and measuring cups can both be NESTED.  (But they can't both be RECURSIVE...) Couple of notable QMCs - "Cross fit?" (SNIT) and "Sightsee?" (AIM) were worthy.

Aren't LEIs worn around one's neck, not head?

This was great.  Such an inventive theme, and good cluing despite the relatively high number of short answers.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting on the theme explanation. I finished the puzzle without it, but it’s a pretty neat trick now that I get it. :) I also thought the clue for LEI was out of place.