Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saturday, March 16, Julian Lim


Tough one. The last square today was the E of the LEE (27D: Pace of "Pushing Daisies") and ABE (38A: Fukuda's predecessor as Japan's P.M.) cross. Never heard of Pace Lee, or Lee Pace, or Pushing Daisies, or any Japanese person named ABE. So that took a few guesses. Had ABo and LEo at first, so, technically, a DNF, I guess.

Thought (22A: :, at times) was showing us an emoticon instead of simply a colon with a comma after it, so it took a while to get ISTO. Knew ALANPAGE (40A: Football Hall-of-Famer who became a Minnesota Supreme Court justice) from my brother, a Minnesotan and a huge Vikings fan. He tells me that he sometimes sees Alan Page when he's out running. Kind of enjoyed HANKER (42A: Thirst). It's a word you don't hear much, and it's refreshing to see in a crossword. Had videOtape (I know, too old-school) for DVDBOXSET at first, which really screwed up the SE, but LATEX (49D: Stuff in a swim cap) came to me after Frannie got RUBBERY (24D: Like 49-Down) with crosses, and then things eventually fell into place. 

Several of the nines took a while to fill in even when we had several letters. STEPSITUP (1A: Increases the intensity) was turnSITUP for a while, and EXPLETIVE (59A: One may be represented by stars) took forever.

- Horace


  1. Not a very exciting puzzle. I took quite awhile to finish it, then realized I hadn't really finished it. Took a painful DNF because of that damned E on ABE/LEE. Abe doesn't sound very Japanese to me. I kept wanting "ramps it up" to be right. Mildly enjoyed the swim cap triple play. I never like "mice" as the plural of the computer mouse. It just strikes me as wrong. Fairly unsatisfying all the way around for me.

  2. Let me add a few more gripes: It occurs to me as I further look over this uninspired effort that many of the longer answers are just a little bit off. As I implied, I'm not crazy about STEPSITUP for "increases the intensity." To me, that phrase is more often used to mean "increases the effort." Subtle distinction, I know, but I think it's a real one. Also, how does WELLAWARE work well for "totally plugged-in"? That seems weak. To continue the nitpicking, a crazy idea usually isn't something that has to "work." Finally, TANZANIAN is completely lame for "Like Jane Goodall's study site."

  3. Funny that we had the exact same mistake at the end.

    I agree. I have been thinking recently that Saturday puzzles are sometimes so much about being hard that the fun is drained out of them. It isn't always the case, of course, but making an entertaining, difficult puzzle seems to be something of a challenge. Of course, this is not breaking news to any puzzle constructor. Still, shouldn't the premier puzzle in the country be getting better submissions? I don't know... maybe it's much harder than I even know.