Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thursday, May 31 - William F. Stephens

Sometimes it pays to be a random thinker. This was one of those times.

I knew something was up when I saw the clue for 40A: 1985 Michael J. Fox film. I knew it was Back to the Future. Since it wouldn't fit, I thought perhaps we'd been dealt a rebus.

The southeast corner fell pretty quickly for me. Once I had 55D: Missing word in 21-, 31-, 40- and 50-Across, applied literally (back), I returned to 40A. How would I apply the word back literally? I was fairly certain that 30D: Blocks in a healthful diet? was tofu (great clue, by the way), so that got me thinking. And then it hit me. The theme entries weren't just missing a word...they were written backwards!

21A: From the beginning again (enoerauqsot) -- back to square one

31A: Revived (daedehtmorf) -- back from the dead

40A: 1985 Michael J. Fox film (erutufehtot) -- Back to the Future

50A: Controlling things once more (elddasehtni) -- back in the saddle

A clever theme, and beautifully executed. The judges give it a 9.5!

Always love the appearance of X -- at 15A: Neuron part (axon) and 7D: Part of a gyroscope (axle). And again at 43D: Atone (expiate) and 45A: Truths (axioms).

Fun clues and answers include:

14A: A-one (primo). We see a-one as an answer from time to time. It was nice to see it as a clue...make the old brain drag that information to the forefront.

25A: 1960s greeting (V signs). I was thinking along the lines of Peace, Love, Happiness, but I got it without too much difficulty. Partly because of the G that resulted from:

11D: Chinese menu notation (no MSG). We've had that before, and I'm always pleased when I remember things for a future puzzle.

36A: Low joint (dive). Ooh...good one.

The very best name in Olympics was also cleverly clued. 46A: Street in the Winter Olympics (Picabo).

I'm not a whiz at geography, but it was pretty easy to guess that I-90 runs through Ohio (54D) and that it runs along Lake Erie (51D).

It really helped to nail 58A: Greeting that may precede "Pehea 'oe?" (aloha). Some time before our Hawaii trip, I'll do a post on the meaning of aloha.

On that note, I'll say Auf Wiedersehen (37A), and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


barrywep said...

Great random minds think randomly alike. My solution came progressed much as yours did.

DONALD said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your help. I had a feeling I wasn't totally stupid when the theme sentences across didn't seem to make sense. But was afraid to think "Backward." So your comments and hints were very helpful, although I am not fond of such tricks. Am a straight arrow and prefer puzzler-makers playing fair. I really admire your skill tho I cannot hope to get to such a level. Thanks again.

Linda G said...


I'm still a novice solver. I can always do Monday through Wednesday without Googling, generally Thursday. But I seldom make it through a Friday, Saturday or Sunday without having to Google some obscure detail...which then hopefully opens up more of the puzzle. Keep at it, and thanks for coming by : )

cornbread hell said...

i figured the gimmick out from a totally different angle.

after completing 80% of the puzzle from the top down and none of the 11 word answers were making sense, i just put my mind in reverse and...aliov!! there it was. (i even made a VSIGN at that point.)

sorta simple for a thursday, but i was definitely INFAVOR of the PRIMO goofiness of it all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliments, guys! This is Will Stephens. I googled myself today and found this fun blog about my crossword from 5/31/07!

This is definitely the first time I've ever been the subject of a blog! How cool.

-- Will