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2:54 AM
Un-echidna, probably
1 hour later…
4:01 AM
@user402514 i think that type's called an anti-joke... the result is unexpected only because the listener recognises a common joke setup and is expecting a certain type of continuation because of that
@oAlt australia's envoy to the united nations
4:24 AM
2 hours later…
6:11 AM
ohh this is unchained* but the definition is actually "out"
and the anagram indicator is that the letters are being difficult, i.e. out of order
which is hard to see because "out" is a valid anagrind in itself
@Jafe Nice find
6:40 AM
6:52 AM
making a crossword where answers can go in any direction but it's turning out to take a lot longer to write the clues when you can't reference answer direction
first/last? fine. top/bottom? straight to jail
7:03 AM
@Jafe yes indeed!
@Jafe interesting
7:58 AM
CCCC: White teeth broken by fake diamond in drink (3,3,8)
2 hours later…
9:31 AM
Yeah I have no idea what this is
Still betting it's "drink" though
9:47 AM
Some great words for 'fake diamond' out there, including YAG and GGG...
10:13 AM
Yeah, but it's acutally more literal.
@Jafe W + (ET THE)* SHAM + ROCK
(I'm not so sure that W can mean white, though. As far as I know the justification for B as black comes from pencil grades. But the clue has a super surface.)
Ahhh, drink as a verb
I can't believe I was that close... I was thinking surely this had to be W + teeth anagram but Google didn't autocomplete "drink wet the" in the search bar. (And as I check right now I see that the expression doesn't come up if I search that anyway.)
@MOehm As for the W, apparently it's been used in American English as said by MW and Collins
Anyway, nice find
Yeah, it is not hard to see that white must be W, so that's no skin off my nose. And it makes the surface reading very good (if painful).
(And you're right, of course.)
1 hour later…
11:42 AM
@MOehm yes
CCCC: "Flower of Scotland" involves a good deal of playing wind instrument (3, 7)
11:58 AM
Q: Playing with their food

Tim SeifertHere is another retrograde chess puzzle! For once, this should be much more approachable than all my previous stuff (but hopefully still quite cute), so please feel free to have a go if you would like. Can you determine the last eight single moves that lead to this position? Please provide your ...

@MOehm thistle involves win(-d)* = tin whistle
@oAlt Yes.
CCCC: Art of growing plants from which cure - "Truth Oil" - is synthesized (12)
12:25 PM
@oAlt horticulture*
@juicifer correct!
CCCC: Confident and charming, like Ms. Carson of Fox Sports Radio? (8)
12:42 PM
hmm yeah didn't think of W=white being controversial and i've definitely seen it used in real life (e.g. penpa text colours)
but yeah can't remember seeing that one in a serious crossword, it's fully possible it wouldn't be accepted by publications that rely on chambers, for example
don't have a paid version of chambers to verify, the online one definitely doesn't have it
@juicifer hah this is debonair, homophone of Deb on air!
no wait it's actually just Deb on air, no homophone needed
@Jafe yep yep!
glad you enjoyed hehe
CCCC: Virtually identical gardener to the one who travelled to Mordor (3)
had to google ms carson, haven't listened to fox sports radio but i assume they cover foxes competing in various sporting events
1:22 PM
Q: Balls of different weights: how few balls can there be?

Rosie FThis puzzle was inspired by the one in this posting by Hemant Agarwal. There are $n$ balls. Their weights are distinct integers which sum to $W$. The balls have the property that, if any one of them is removed, the remaining $n-1$ balls can be partitioned into two subsets of equal total weight. $n>...

1:49 PM
@Jafe Sam(-e), last name Gamgee
I like that, kept me thinking at first even though the answer was short
2:16 PM
CCCC: Confused people on Twitter as resistance takes over the middle part of con held regularly (9)
@oAlt PE(o->R)PLE 𝕏 _E_D
Hah, I love how you copied the symbol similar to the Twitter X
Anyway yeah that's correct @juicifer
as much as I hate the rebrand (and will always call it twitter) it is very funny to me that elmo just took a unicode character and said yup that's it that's the logo
CCCC: Justin Timberlake hit sounds like a flow from Sevastopol? (3 2 1 5)
i assume there's a timberlake song "cry me a river" because that sounds like crimea river
2:30 PM
yeah you got it
And I also just found out in the process that I've been pronouncing Crimea wrong
i as in "him" and ea like the eah in "Leah"
@Jafe you know what they say about making assumptions
but yeah, correct
in my family we just say "krym"
don't recognise the song but chances are i'd recognise it if i heard it
I heard it on the radio when I was driving into work this morning so that was the inspiration lol
Mar 20, 2023 at 12:15, by Jafe
assuming makes an ass of u and a guy named ming
CCCC: Hot support for Justin Timberlake hit (8)
@Jafe Me and ming think this is SEXYBACK
gonna need the wordplay as well
3:34 PM
@juicifer 😭
3:49 PM
Hot = SEXY, support = BACK
I thought it was pretty straightforwad, but I guess it's still a good idea.
yeah just wanna make it easier for the archivist (hi archivist!)
CCCC: Yesterday's customers smile uneasily, except in southernmost parts, where wilier contests are staged. (6 8 / 6 8)
1 hour later…
4:57 PM
@Jafe "Anti-joke" was the exact word I was looking for, thank you!
5:38 PM
For clarification, since the enumeration is a little strange, you are looking for two different answers, each with an enumeration of (6 8)
5:55 PM
@GentlePurpleRain I think what we're looking at here is either SUMMER SOLSTICE (customerssmile*) or WINTER SOLSTICE (wiliercontests*) depending on the hemisphere
with "yesterday" as the def
6:13 PM
Ahh so that's what the structure of the clue was
5 hours later…
10:59 PM

Christine IvinsYears ago I used to do the word puzzles in magazines like That's Life, etc. My favourite puzzle used to be called a Wordsmith. It provided 9 letters, out of which you made words of 4 or more letters without repeating any and using the centre highlighted letter in every word. There was also a 9 le...

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