Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Neigh-Saying," by Sheryl Bartol

Constructor's Comments

I am a relative newcomer to constructing, but now that I've started, I find myself looking for themes everywhere.  This one came to me while hearing about filibusters on the news and realizing how close that sounded to FILLYBUSTER.  That led me down the path of thinking about different names for horses and how they could be adjusted to common expressions.  Other horse phrases that I considered but rejected included FOAL NELSON, COLT COMFORT, and MARE MORTAL.  Ultimately it came down to using the theme words that fit well together.

As this is my first blog post, I’d like to thank David for creating this great new outlet for puzzles.  I would also like to give a shout-out to my sister, Debbie Ellerin, for mentoring me every step of the way in constructing.  Watch for her puzzles here!

Editor's Comments

Some solvers love puns and others don't, but I personally have a soft spot for them.  All four of these horse puns made me smile, and I like how Sheryl balanced single-word base phrases (filibuster and coldhearted) and multiword base phrases (full circle and hoarse voice).  In her original submission, Sheryl clued HORSE VOICE like all the other theme entries, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to harness it for a reveal.  Okay, I should really stop with the horse puns!

There's an old piece of wisdom in the crossword community that the best way to tell a constructor's skill level is by how smooth the easiest corners to fill are.  The upper right and lower left (and all other areas of the grid, for that matter) are silky-smooth, so even though Sheryl is relatively new, she's quickly turning into a pro.


  1. Now this is a puzzle that I can relate to. You know, "dad jokes"? Well, I'm dad. FILLYBUSTER was a(n) LOL, and doesn't looks likes it's appeared in the modern era. I did a horse pun theme based on medical diagnoses titled "Stable Conditions" (BRONCITIS, e.g.). Never pass up a punning situation!

  2. Wow, that "Stable Conditions" puzzle sounds great, too! My comedic repertoire consists almost entirely of dad jokes, so I feel where you're coming from :)

  3. A really impressive debut puzzle, even with Debbie Ellerin as her sister. Good job

  4. Thanks, Lemonade! So glad you enjoyed the puzzle!