Fireball Crosswords Review : “Workarounds” (2018-01-04)


Constructed By: Alex Eaton-Salners
Edited By: Peter Gordon
Source: By Subscription Only: See page here.
Theme: Double Meanings
In each theme entry, a proper answer indicated after the word “Doubly” moves into another row, providing a visual representation of another meaning of the word, making it “doubly”.

  • 17-A. [Doubly drunk?] – PLTABLEED.
  • 20-A. [It’ll make white brown] – TOASTER. (answer is really PLASTERED, which is UNDER THE TABLE
  • 24-A. [Start of an alley-oop, say] – ASSIST.
  • 31-A. [Doubly immoderate?] – EXCETOPVE. (answer is really EXCESSIVE, which is OVER THE TOP
  • 43-A. [Doubly stressed?] – PRGUNURED.
  • 46-A. [Actually existing] – INESSE. (answer is really PRESSURED which is UNDER THE GUN)
  • 50-A. [2000] – EIGHTPM.
  • 57-A. [Doubly ecstatic?] – DELMOONED. (answer is really DELIGHTED which is OVER THE MOON)

Glenn’s Time: 56 minutes.
Glenn’s Errors: DNF. I couldn’t get crosses around the gapped part of the words well enough to see what was going on. After I saw the gimmick I was able to finish the grid without any errors.

(Quality) Rating: 4.5 stars/5 stars.
Fireball Crosswords is a by subscription-only crossword service provided by Peter Gordon, that features puzzles either constructed or edited by him. They often feature unique and creative things. However, the primary pitch is the difficulty as indicated on the website’s pitch: “The puzzles are hard. How hard? If you have to ask, too hard for you.” One will indeed find difficulty in these puzzles, often due to the cluing which is generally far more oblique than the norm, though not as difficult as some other examples people can find, such as the Newsday Saturday Stumper or some of the New York Times Friday or Saturday puzzles.

This puzzle provides a wonderful solve after several weeks off from the typical norm. It provides an interesting gimmick along with some challenging and somewhat interesting entries. While this has a few questionable entries, it provides a wonderful entry back into my renewal subscription of these grids. For those that are interested in finding something different and challenging, I highly recommend this set.

Unfamiliar/Interesting Stuff To Me:

14-A. [Its formula has IP in the denominator] – ERA. This would be Innings Pitched and Earned Run Average.

23-A. [“That was some nutmeg!”] – OLE. The same meaning as the typical soccer chants that are clued with this word, but I guess it’s going to a cooking compliment instead?

50-A. [2000] – EIGHTPM. A questionable entry to me. In references I find to this, like this one, military times are always written with colons. In this one, I should expect the clue to logically be [20:00]. No doubt, some shenanigans pulled by the setter/editor to try to make this tougher. But thankfully, Fireball does it a lot less than the New York Times.

60-A. [Filipino dish whose name comes from the Spanish word for “marinade”] – AD
OBO. Never heard of this before, but from what I gather it’s not a dish per se, but a type of dish that is marinated in a specific sauce.

61-A. [Dog in the Newbery-winning children’s book “Call It Courage”] – URI. This happened back in 1941. Never heard of the book until this puzzle.

5-D. [1957 hit for the Bobbettes whose title completes the lyric “One two three
, look at ___”] – MR LEE.

42-D. [Dried poblano pepper] – ANCHO. As seen here, it’s a “a dried poblano chili pepper.”

54-D. [Brace’s partner] – BIT. This refers to an older hand-drill.

Until next time! Feedback about what to consider looking at or talking about, or questions (if I can answer them) are always welcome!


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