Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Raymond C. Young


This puzzle might have been a little too proud of itself for the fact that the (25A: Minimum number of times each letter of the alphabet appears in this puzzle's solution) was FOUR. It allowed for easy guessing of exotically-lettered words like KUMQUATS for (38D: Orange fruits), and TAZO for (60A: Tea brand owned by Starbucks). It also seemed to lead to a lot of terrible, or at least questionable, answers. OHOH for (14A: "Whoops!"). Shouldn't that really be uHOH? And QTRS are really more accurately NFL game divs., not (12D: N.F.L. divs.). According to a quick search, there is such a thing as a CAVEBAT in Australia, but there are other more common names for an (29A: Upside-down-sleeping mammal). DONQ rum? YAWPS? I don't know, it all just seemed a little cheap to me.

The SW corner was the trickiest for us as we solved this between sets at a local bar, and if it weren't for a friend knowing the name of FRIZ Freleng (58A: Looney Tunes animator ____ Freleng), we might never have finished at all. Tried BUTT, TUSH, and maybe one more alternate before finally putting in DUFF (47D: Keister), and then, finally, FUTZ (61A: Mess around (with)) fell in, and NUJAZZ (that's a thing?) was revealed as (43D: Genre pioneered by Miles Davis). Huh.

Not terribly satisfying.

- Horace


  1. Completely ridiculous puzzle. I don't need to see an exhibition of the puzzler's virtuosity; I want to have a challenge, a little fun, and a few chuckles solving the thing. Time was 21:57, with fourteen write-overs. Except for the "theme," there was very little entertainment value here. Only irritation. Isn't the I of ESAI/SQUISH a classic Natick? Why squish and not squash? And of course both names are obscure. Hated most of the ones you mention. I don't even really like MYWAY for "Sinatra standard." That's not exactly a "standard." The SW corner is just very weak overall. Too many "fill in the blanks." This is a puzzle for crossword nerds, in the worst sense of that word.

  2. Yeah, some seem to be like that. The worst offender I've seen to date is the puzzle of 4/15/2013. So... you've got that to look forward to.