Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017, Hal Moore


I don't know about you, but I don't particularly like it when an explanatory note appears with a crossword. Today's reads: "When finished, this crossword grid will have 25 things that complete a set, in the order indicated by the clues." First of all, "25 things?" I guess by "things" they mean "pairs of letters that are adjacent both in the alphabet and in the answers with bracketed numbers" and by "a set" they mean "all the letters of the alphabet repeated twice, in order, except for A, P, T, and Z." Did I miss any?

So it's a stunt puzzle. Sometimes those are good, and other times, they are somewhat interesting but filled with strained or tired fill. See: ENOL (27D: Hydroxyl group compound [14]), AFARAFORE, KMS (41A: Eur. distance measures), CAVA (9A: Vena ____ (major vessel)), and SSRS (60D: They became independent in 1991: Abbr.). Fun stuff.

There were bright spots, though. POPQUIZ (50A: Classroom surprise [15][16]) was fun, and BMWXSERIES (62A: Line of upscale German autors [23]) was unexpected. CONDEMN (9D: Mark for demolition [13]) and SINEW (54A: Muscular strength) are good words, and who can argue with CLAM chowder? As long as it's not Manhattan-style. :)

But overall, the TIAS, BCE, BRAE, and LOMB type stuff left me DOUR. I don't want to give it a total NOGO, but let's just say it wasn't my favorite.

1A: Wall Street index, for short (SANDP) - C-.
Favorite: RADIUS (40D: Wheel spoke, essentially).
Least: ALFA (2D: Letter before bravo) - Where's the "var." tag?


- Horace


  1. 4:29
    I missed the "explanatory" note, so this played like a particularly easy themeless for me. I mean, I guess so. AB, BC, CD, etc. etc. all the way to YZ. Does that make "a set"? I'm hardly convinced. It was fine, just not that interesting.

  2. 8:21
    I also had no explanatory note; I guess they don't include them with the Across Lite version. Frannie probably liked LATEFEE, and I'm not too DOUR about the whole thing, probably because I, like Colum, thought it was a rather easy themeless. Horace didn't mention FENWAY, which should have gotten him in a good mood, and I thought he was a MUSEUM fan, too. I thought SWAMIS was good, and I know someone local originally from FIJI, but not well enough to have known it's pairing, SUVA. Also nice to have NATHANIEL Hawthorne in there, and Mr. SWAYZE (lots of great letters in his name). RADIUS was excellent and TIMBER was clued nicely (47D Cry before a fall). Some nice HIGHS in the puzzle.