Thursday and Friday  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in ,

Difficult Thursday puzzle by Joe Krozel and Victor Fleming. I didn't finish it; the theme was legalese. I.e., CAPITAL OFFENSES, THE DEFENSE RESTS. Good cluing, I just ran into a block in the SE corner.

John Farmer
28 Minutes
Themeless Friday was tough but rewarding. Without a couple of gimme clues regarding some of my favorite rock acts, I would have been in a world of hurt. "Brian ___, known for his 33-Across music" was a lifesaver (ENO, AMBIENT), while "Talking Heads' hit "Take __ the River" opened up the right side for me. Other gimmes were Canadian P.M. John TURNER and MALTA conference.

Things I learned or are new to me:
Sopor (without the -ific) for "Lethargy"
How to spell VERKLEMPT
The word "enroll" has the exact same meaning without the second L
Weighty word QUIXOTIC was clued "Starry eyed"
Apparently the Arabic word for King is spelled with an extra S in Syria ("Damascus V.I.P." = ASSAD)
One theme clue I didn't like: "Doesn't support conspiracy theories" was ACTS ALONE. I might have clued it differently.
Dizzy Gillespie wore a soul patch. Fortunately I knew about Frank Zappa's.

Finally, Friday's NY Sun was. just. dirty. Incredible construction; the middle five rows circles all the way down and UNCLUED. It was a nasty word ladder, starting with "Transformation beginning" = "BLACK" and each subsequent row replaced just one letter until the final clue of "Ending" = WHITE. I couldn't get all the fill, some Scrabbly stuff and two many specific nouns for me, but the theme was amazing. Thanks, Patrick Berry, for another mind-blowing Friday.

Since they were so explicitly mentioned:
Talking Heads, "Take Me To The River" from More Songs About Buildings and Food
Brian Eno, "Zawinul/Lava" from Another Green World

FYI, Joe Zawinul just passed away last week, the reason for the elegiac second song.


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