Grid Kid #71 & 72

Crosswor solvers and constructors: What do you know? Do you know things? Let’s find out! We’ve got the themed HE’S BACK and BACKING DOWN FROM GETTING THINGS DONE found here and here, so let’s do it!

Hey everybody! It’s me Chris, King of the indies, and we’ve got two new puzzles by Mr. Sam Ezersky, so let’s discuss.


#71, He’s Back!

America’s favorite cartoon horse is back on the Internet, and Sam has written a fun, easy puzzle with BOJACK HORSEMAN as our theme.

[*Martial arts-inspired program whose name is both a portmanteau and a backronym] – TAE BO
[*Variety of boat or tuna] – SKIPJACK
[Woodworking support] – SAWHORSE
[*Doggone it!] – AW MAN

Sam also treats us with two down nonstarred entries:

[Service on which to view the ends of this puzzle’s starred clues] – NETFLIX
[Views, as this puzzle’s theme on 3-Down] – STREAMS

On the puzzle: Sam described it in his blogpost, this puzzle was designed to be a nice intro to indie puzzling, and Sam did a fine job. A nice zippy 13×13 where the starred entries are only either 5 or 8 letters!

TAE BO as a theme entry is fantastic. Crossworders know how much this thing comes up in puzzles, so it’s great it finally is used as a theme entry!
-[___ TV (website for enthusiasts of a particular alien)] = ALF. I like to think Sam is an admin for the forum there.
-Sam got ORIOLE into the puzzle. I am shocked.
-All right everyone, tell me. Do people use the phrase “drop TROU” without saying it as a joke?
POACH, IRE, AROMA, and PEACE all got great clues.

On the subject: FANTASTIC. Season 3 of Bojack aired the Friday before this puzzle went out, and I had already watched it by the time Sam’s puzzle came out on Monday. Bojack Horseman is truly a well written show with humor and heart, a phenomenal voice cast, and beautiful animation. Honestly, I feel sure that it’d mesh well with the crossword community, as the show is very pun heavy and you’d probably love it. I’m sure Sam’s a huge fan too, and I’m glad that Bojack has its own puzzle.


#72, Backing Down From Getting Things Done

In this puzzle, Sam makes Jack a dull boy as we transition letter by letter from WORK to PLAY.

[Kate Perry hit with the lyric “Just own the night like the fourth of July”] = FIREWORK
[Barbacoa at Chipotle, essentially] = PULLED PORK
[Part of a benefits package] = JOB PERK
[Motto adopted during a particular late-1850s gold rush] = PIKES PEAK OR BUST
[Marshy fuel source] = PEAT BOG
[Fancy-schmancy restaurant special] = PLAT DU JOUR
[Fun time with a third-grade pal, perhaps] = PLAYDATE

Nice set of theme entries for a mechanism I think all of us has seen before. Seven theme entries makes a tough grid as Sam noted, and it’s very impressive the number of down entries that cross three entries.

-[Seven-syllable tech releases of 1984] – IBM PCjrs. Wow. I haven’t seen an entry that looks more made up than that one, but it does check out. This was an interesting one for me to put the three pieces together.
-Great new clue for LEO ([The lion not in winter?])
-[Word seemingly found within a 15-letter entry of every “quad stack” themeless puzzle] is the greatest thing I’ve seen in a while, and typed in ONES immediately.
-Had no idea about BAKED CLAMS = [Casino foundation?]. I hope some online food trivia blogs do a post about clams sometime soon to rectify that.
-Other great entries/clues: BLOW ME, ETA, YEW, WHOREHOUSE.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Thanks for Sam for two great puzzles, and if you think I missed something, be sure to put it in the comments.

If you’re going to Lollapuzzoola, be sure to say hi, and if you won’t, have fun next weekend!


  1. e.a. said:

    i third the bojack love! great show, great puzzle, great intro to this post.

    personally did not find WHOREHOUSE to be a great – or even acceptable – entry, especially as clued. some extremely excellent stuff in this puzzle (that LEO clue, i’m drooling), but i missed most of it, as i stopped solving after encountering the aforementioned.


    • I thought the entry was good, but the clue was to be desired. I think the word itself is fine (Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton did after all), but I was disappointed to see Mr. Odom’s name in the mud like that.


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