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Puzzles for November, 2020
with Jim Horne comments

Sun 11/1/2020WEST-SOUTHWEST
ONSTARICUEBERTCHUG
REPOSERAGXAXESROME
SWAYUPHIGHQUANTASIN
EMTSODESUMMERSWEAR
RESTAPLEPOISWANLAKE
ORALSORSOSPA
SWARMRECEPTIONSPITES
AONETRENDTHORSNARK
MENSCHDIKEROCTERI
SEADOVEAIWAOBOE
FORWANTOFABETTERSWORD
OPEROEUFOTHELLO
ARTYNASOBIESUPERB
MARESMEANCELIAOLAY
SHORTUSPARKLINGSWINE
ANYACUEELATE
ISCARIOTCDTSANDREEF
SWEPTFORJOYSTYDANO
LILIOHYOUSWISHLISTS
APTSROSINHALSEVERS
MESHMOTETATLTIEDYE
Mon 11/2/2020
SACKJEERSCRUB
HEHEOGLECAUSE
ASINIAMBURBAN
GOLDENDOODLE
SPEAKRUPEES
LEAVENOTRACE
MEWLGINESSAY
UMACODDLEDERE
FAIRYEARSLED
FIVECARDDRAW
LESLIESEAMS
COMEDYSKETCH
TRAINFEATTARO
WAYNEEMMAERIE
OPEDSROSYNIBS
Tue 11/3/2020
EMUSSENDSOHHEY
TONEIMOUTGEICO
HOWDYDOODYRADON
ISRAELRELIEVE
CHANTEYSIMYALE
SUPDEIPEDWAY
HOUNDEDSUAVE
HUMPTYDUMPTY
SWANNALIMONY
PORKIETANMSG
AWRYGEMSOIHEAR
IDIOTICGUYANA
BISONHANDYDANDY
ADORNATEINTIRE
SONYSNATTYTEAR
Wed 11/4/2020
DUBWIGSPAVES
IPADHOOTAMISH
EASYMONEYROACH
OTTERSSLATE
FRITIEICYBLUE
FELTNAPCHAINS
ELISZESTABOP
EMPTYNESTER
PHDIHEARSWAP
BEAUTYLIPERRS
ANYTIMEFAAYAO
UTEROPLACID
ASTROESPYAWARD
KEANUCHARERIE
ANGSTTAXIDEN
POW Thu 11/5/2020
APPARGODWELLS
LOUSEAMOHLOOK
ALLTHINGSBEINGE
SOLVINGNEWGIN
ACESMUWING
SEPARATEBUTE
EDAMGASNOGGIN
MERHASHTAGEMO
INTWOSTIPOTIS
EOPPORTUNITY
SAWSAPESEN
HOEWAYSAVAGES
ERIGHTSMOVEMENT
STREETOMITAYE
MADMENBEDSRAW
Fri 11/6/2020
EMMADESCSFPD
BARTRIVIAOOHED
BITTERENDPRIMO
SENSESALOT
SPINARTTANLINE
PENALHOSTELS
LEAVENEDFAITHS
ALTEANDSOCIAO
TETLEYEARCANDY
EGOSURFARENA
BANANASERNESTS
LUTZYEOMAN
ARIELDROVENUTS
HAVRETIDESOVER
LESTONESTAXI
Sat 11/7/2020
SMOOSHDRAGGED
HEXAPODSOURALE
INERRORLATERON
NUNIHOPNOWAIT
SNAPINPUN
WEIGHTLOSSPILL
SAMOSHETTYMOE
PLANSEDANNAAN
ELICUMINMOLTS
CELEBRITYCRUSH
AIRCOMEIN
BALSAMNODSADO
AGENDASRACEBIB
HEREIGOERASURE
ARTROSSSNOTTY
Sun 11/8/2020WAIT, WHAT?
MICROLOANPATELSILO
ADHERENCEELUDEIKNOW
YOUGOTTHATSTRUTDEUCE
ALMSHAYROOKSERENA
SAPCUSSSENSITIVE
MORALWOEROTSSOL
FOLEYCHIMIATADORM
WHYTHELONGFUSSTBONES
IAMIDEEREDSHERO
WIPEGALPALUFOADD
RUDDERSOFTHELOSTARK
SUELEISEDAKADOES
CARYSPARTAMEPGA
ACCEDELOADEDTHEBUSES
HAHSCSINYIOSBAILS
EPALIMAIMPBEETS
MUCKUPARTISTSROD
CHASERHOPELEOLADE
SHIFTTHENUMBOFTHEGUM
KINKSTURINFREEAGENT
INGAVNECKFIREWORKS

Rudders of the Lost Ark is especially brilliant because it flips the meaning of Ark between "boat" and "box."

Mon 11/9/2020
PAWROAMSGEAR
USAENTOMBOLGA
PALLBEARERELON
IDEASELAPSE
LASSPELLGRANT
IRANSHOPPER
COCKAPOONEATO
ANOPILLBUGGOO
STRIPEASEMENT
HAPLESSLEDE
POLLTAKERTOTE
RESOLEMOTHS
SWAGPULLQUOTES
IOTASTPAULERA
PEELESTEEREY
Tue 11/10/2020
SNAFUWOOLSPEW
COLONHAREIOTA
ONEOFATITFLAX
PORTAUTHORITY
ESTIMONIBEGO
DRAFTSPERSON
NAIRSIRTITUS
ANNASTANDCEDE
INDIAIORERAT
FOUNTAINHEAD
SYLNCOACTSSA
GROUNDSKEEPER
IDEARIOSAVERT
BUMPAZULSECTS
MEETSEREESSAY
Wed 11/11/2020
COKEDXFLATMOST
ABILITIESPOORER
HOLYFIELDPIRATE
NEOEXOLATIN
WEDDINGPRESENT
GOAPEEYELETS
ANTEEDRIAFOE
VETERANSMEMORIAL
ESSYUKSHINTO
PONTIUSICAHN
BUSINESSSCHOOL
ELWESTOOENG
STOPITDOUBLEDAY
ERRATAOURSAVIOR
TANNEDERSBATHE
Thu 11/12/2020
LAMAMOSTDPLUS
ICONAMISELIDE
AASKYLARKRUMOR
MISHEARDIMGONE
SNLULNAS
SKATALKUULATER
TASHAYETIWADE
ARTISANITBANDS
FORTPDASEYDIE
FLOATSOUTCCYET
NOENDAKC
RANDOSIMPOLITE
ABORTBBORNOTBB
REVUEALAIVISA
ELANDDEBSESPY
Fri 11/13/2020
LETSDANCESTUBS
IMONAROLLTUPAC
NOWORRIESASTIR
ETANORANIKOLA
AIWAWONTONYOW
ROASTNERFSOUL
ANYWAYDEEPCUTS
EMAJYEAH
WHOLEHOGSINGES
HALLWHOANOONE
AVEDENOVOZETA
TEMPEHDEBTSEW
ANIONHEREWEARE
MOSESEASYASPIE
ITSMEPRESSSEND
POW Sat 11/14/2020
GOESINTOSASHAY
EUROPEANASTUTE
LIAISINGGEISHA
TENDONACHES
WARSODINKENT
AVOCADOHOLYDAY
ROBOTARMHES
MNEMONICDEVICES
ENDSOLITUDE
UMPTEENGPSUNIT
PALORIGGAYES
WRATHPEEKAT
ANTHEMERICIDLE
RETINANEWMONEY
DRESSYALIENATE
Sun 11/15/2020THEME SHMEME
BARTABDRAWBBALL
IVORIESCRASHCOURSE
NATURALSTRICKORTREAT
ALOETEALEAVESATBAT
COURTREPORTERAWLS
ANTRIPWRENJUDEWWE
MAXWEIRSUGARCOAT
FORAYGARBTUNEDHURT
AVERMOILIENORSALMA
DELETEDSCENESSPENDS
ERASERTHINNEDRECIPE
SYNCEDADESTEFIDELES
RITESARTERYTIMSILT
AGESGRETAWHENWIELD
THATSOKAYSEARPIT
ATMHUEDSPEDARMDUA
DERNSKINNYDIPPING
ALARMSHOESTOREREBA
SLUMBERPARTYWEBSITES
PLANETEARTHPUMMELS
FAUSTDYESSHORTI

I love these themeless Sundays.

Adeste Fideles doesn't ring a bell? You may know that melody by another name:

Mon 11/16/2020
FAKEDBBCDECAF
ICIERLEOORATE
JELLYROLLGAMER
IDOOBITSTEIN
HOUSESITRNS
ASSORTNADA
REPROPUBCRAWL
TARAATRIAMOOD
MICSTANDLARVA
NEATRISKED
EGGCAKEWALK
NOTCHELECWOE
AFIREBABYSTEPS
CADETATMPOPUP
TREESBEDANTSY
Tue 11/17/2020
ISLAACIDSMGM
BOATIONICPORE
MOTHERMAYIETAS
STEELELKBLISS
RASHLIFEOFPI
OHGREATTAGS
PERTSRAJAILER
ERAHAIRPINAYE
COMBOSCOTCURE
BRIODAMAGED
BACKSPINSIKH
ALLIELOGCELEB
LOANGROWASPINE
SUNGMINERONIT
ADSAGENTPEDS
Wed 11/18/2020
ROTCREVEISAAC
OHOOILERMELBA
STRIPOKERHATER
THENETSOVATE
RANDRWRAPARTY
ATTITUDELYCEES
GONEARGEL
TWOPEASINAPOD
DOHLEGATO
EROTICLASTNAME
VIPASSESACTOR
EXLAXMACHONE
AERIEFLIPHONES
NYJETBELLEATT
NERDSIDLEDLSU
Thu 11/19/2020
BLISSPHISAP
READMECOGSNNE
AERIALARTBOOKS
MRVGRFFNVNNWHT
PSATIEINSST
SEEDBEDTIDY
RSTLNUAEIRMA
EPEEIDYLLLEAN
FIXESEAPTSJK
SNAPUPVOTES
REOPOSITCSI
BNKRPTWHLFFRTN
FEASIBLEDIEOUT
FANNAILESTADO
SPAERESHAKY
Fri 11/20/2020
AYCARAMBAMILD
TROUBADOUROBIE
GEODESISTSBANC
INHDASTORNGO
FOOLEDSNACKED
TOETAGSWHERE
BARRAGEARID
TRUSTEXERCISE
GRIDSWORNIN
AANDPNESTLES
BIGYUKSTIERED
BLTGNARSTHRU
AMOROCEANSTATE
NINETHEGENERAL
AXEDSAFEWORDS
Sat 11/21/2020
WEIRDHUHFLOORS
ALOEVERARINGUP
NEWSDESKENERGY
TMANLAUREATES
ECIGENESCO
INAKITASPTABS
BTUBUBPINENUT
MACABREIRONORE
PRUSSIANIHTNN
CYSTNUMTOPHIT
RAGTAGWREN
SHORTSTOPERGO
DOOBIEATOMBOMB
NOLOSSTHESINAI
ANDYETASTUDENT
POW Sun 11/22/2020IT ALL ADDS UP
MENURAGUCAPOICICLE
UNITATOPOARSNOONAN
SONEOPOOLTHELASONERD
EKERANDOMSMILEETA
IDBETGATSANACIN
ELSHADAKIDSUNTRAP
BADEAIMRISESREHIRE
ALBASTEFANITHERULES
HEARTHSTROTTEDTRENT
TERSERERATOPTSTSA
DAYSOTWOLIVES
CAMMOTOOVENPEOPLE
LOGANREPUTEDATECROW
ILIKEIKEREROUTECEDE
SOLEMNMODELNITUSES
PRESETSOUTOFITGPS
WAHWAHHOOTBUYER
OAFEARLSKRAKENVAC
FRFOURTRAINBREAKZERO
USAUSAOLGAEDENANEW
MORROWWANTSSNSCTRL
Mon 11/23/2020
CLAWSCABCHRIS
HAZEOHNOPEARL
OPALDIDGERIDOO
ITLLDOYONDING
ROEUMPTAPIOCA
SPADEOBAMAIAN
OSAKAORINGS
MIDOCEANRIDGE
EATOUTEASEL
ALSTRADETEMPE
SLASHERSKAAIR
TOGASADULSTER
BRIDESMAIDEZRA
ACRIDINDOWORN
YALEUSASSSHED
Tue 11/24/2020
STABCHARTBRA
LARVAYAHOOBLOW
ASIANCLASPAIDE
WHALEILLBEDARNED
NADAWESOPED
NCISCAGEDUD
JUICESARTBABY
OHTHEHUGEMANATEE
TUDESEWLITERS
SHEHUESSAPS
PLANTARIRAN
GREATCODALMIGHTY
RENDOBAMAONION
ADDSOOZEDNANNY
DOSLEERSSLOE
Wed 11/25/2020
LOBOWAGIGIVE
IVANWRYVORTEX
MALEHEIRANOINT
ELLIEDOORONTO
GLITZAIRMAIL
SHOGEOKEYS
TOWPLANETEMPE
ULNAMESSYEACH
ASSAMPLAINTOE
TREEOCDINN
TEETIMEUTILE
OGREBLOCOINKS
ORANGETHYMETEA
LESSERTEDSLEW
STEELODSLYNN
POW Thu 11/26/2020
GATENALASOFTG
UNIXATOMOLLIE
ROMPVOWEL
UNEASYSKAADD
SNOBSRAISES
ISLAND
ODIEULNAHOFFA
NEGFEASTEDLOX
SANTAMOANPINE
WINDED
DUMONTTOURS
ONOCIAROUSTS
JOHNSSOON
OASISKNEEALOU
SMELTSAWSLONG
Fri 11/27/2020
AMONGIGAASAP
POKERFOOLDULL
STONEHENGEBRIO
EEKAMOUSEBLEEP
LSDTHROWN
CARRIESATORCH
ARIANALEGKYLO
LENDSHERTENAM
MAGIMIXCORONA
BANANASFOSTER
SELECTILL
STATEHULASKIRT
NORIBILLTHECAT
OVERANTSENEMY
WEREMTADORAL

CFLAT is a tough word to clue. There are no famous orchestral works in that key. It's the enharmonic equivalent of B Major (five sharps), so there's no obvious reason to go to the trouble of writing music in C Flat (seven flats.)

Ms. Weintraub's clue is "Harpist's home key." That's brilliant, and it's mostly true, especially for modern Concert Harps, the kind you see in orchestras. It does raise the question, why are harps tuned to such an awkward key?

To understand, you need to know how harps work. There are seven strings per octave (like the seven white keys on a piano), the strings are color-coded according to their letter names, and there are pedals that stretch the strings, altering their pitch, but only in one direction — sharp.

So, the strings all start in C Flat (all seven notes in the scale are flat.) Pushing, say, the D pedal and locking it down causes all the Ds to rise to D natural. Another notch down, and they all sound as D sharp. Correctly positioning all seven pedals allows you to play in any key and keep the color-to-note-name mapping consistent.

If you started in, say, C instead of C flat, you could still play in any sharp key (G, D, A, etc.), but playing in a flat key (F, B flat, etc.) would require you to drop down to a different (now raised) string. That messes up the color mapping, but critically, it would make that string unavailable for the correct note in whatever key you're in.

Why don't harps have 12 strings per octave so every possible note could be played in any key? For one thing, harps already have so many strings it's difficult to keep track of them all. More importantly, you'd lose the ability for harps to do that effect they're most famous for — the glissandos where strings are strummed to make that familiar shimmering effect. That only works if the notes blend because they're all in one key or one chord.

Fun fact: Harpo Marx, who played beautifully, didn't use a C Flat home key or any normal scale. He had his own unique tuning scheme — not surprising given that he was completely self-taught.

Sat 11/28/2020
TIMETRAVELESTA
AREYOUGAMEXMAN
POWERSUITSPAST
SNLTHANTARTT
TOEBLOTTER
FAIRSFAIRMBA
DRESSCODESOUP
PROBEORCSANDS
LOGOAUTOTUNES
APPPITYPARTY
CARRELSBEA
ELIOTGPASOCT
BINSOVERSHARES
ONCEPINACOLADA
SEENTEETOTALER
Sun 11/29/2020SIX-PACK
GMAILSWEEPSTINKO
EROICABEAGLECUEBALL
NACRESRANGINUPDATED
EPHEMERALDSPEPERAPS
SHADEHISSBADPRSTA
ALVINGILGAMESHOW
DEALTINORELSEATLAS
ETTEPEPPILLRINSE
SHARDREMINISCEESPN
ANTEBENDYSINAPILE
INECHIVASETCETCDUE
PONTIACITEHEREWES
ALDOMETRONOMESIMON
OOMPHREBUSESSANE
DANTEARAMISLIVENED
FIRSTRATEGYTIBIA
ESCIRISEARIZSCRIM
SLAVNESTOBAMACARENA
TIDINGSARRIVEAVENUE
EKESOUTREADERMISERS
RESAVETYLERESTEE
Mon 11/30/2020
HATHBAHOTTAWA
EROOARTSAUNAS
MARCTIMHORTONS
BAKESALEDDE
SHELBOXSEAT
YEATSCIA
SCENARIOANYONE
HOPICOLASIVAN
ENIGMAALIENATE
HENREORG
STUTTERISSA
URNAPRICOTS
MAPLESYRUPREPO
ALIGNSETARAIN
CANADAPHDYMCA

Did this play tough for you Americans? Ah, sorry, eh?

Think of it as payback for all the Canucks who have to deal with American college names and mascots, American government agencies (like 65 Down), and American spelling. Yes, I realize, it's an American puzzle, but having one crossword that caters to your friendly (and apologetic) northern neighbours seems like the neighbourly thing to do.

Do Canadians apologize too much? Yeah, sorry. Do they claim Maple Syrup as their own? You bet your mukluks. (Sorry, Vermonters.) In my Québec childhood, I have fond memories of boiled maple sap being drizzled onto fresh snow until it solidifies enough to become the most delicious treat any kid could imagine.

And who or what is Tim Horton? Only one of the greatest defencemen in the history of hockey. After retiring from the Maple Leafs, he started the now-ubiquitous restaurant chain. Think of it as like Starbucks, only with better coffee. And donuts! Speaking of drinks, here's some Canadian advice for our American friends:

Finally, HOCKEY NIGHT might sound generic, but to a Canadian, that phrase sparks a Pavlovian response. Hockey Night in Canada has been an institution for close to a century, first on radio and then on television. If you're not Canadian, stop reading now, because this link will mean nothing to you, but it's trippy nostalgia if you grew up in the True North Strong and Free.