Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday, April 6, 2013, Michael Wiesenberg


I could have sworn that ITASCA (6D: Minnesota county west of St. Louis) was spelled with a K, and really, ATkO seemed as plausible to me as a 23A: Label for the Bee Gees as ATCO, but fortunately, Frannie suggested we try the C, and then everything worked out. (I will now remember it with a C, because the Crossword Fiend (see our other blog links) pointed out that the lake is the source of the Mississippi, and the name is said to come from "Veritas Caput." (true head))

Another problem in that same area was having EATS instead of AILS for 23D: Has something, and since we weren't sure of 25A: Rajiv's mother, anything was theoretically possible. Of course, INDIRA sure looks a heck of a lot better than INDaRA, but you never know.

Other than that, this one moved along slowly but surely. Didn't particularly love OVERSTRUNG (12D: Very tense) or LOUT for 46D: Yahoo, but there were some good ones too, like MADLIBS (37D: Game requiring many plug-ins?) and I loved the clue 27D: Its boring bits can be quite long for DRILLPRESS. I got the idea immediately, but wanted DRILL at the end for quite a while, which slowed things down in the SW.

Never heard of 28A: Victor Herbert's "naughty" girl, MARIETTA, but she was eventually filled in, too.

One major problem - RIS does not mean 52A: Laugh, in Lille. RIRE means laugh in Lille. Un ├ęclat de rire. Ris, is the present, active, first and second person singular. Je ris, tu ris, but it is not used as a noun. In fact, I looked up "ris" just now, and the only thing given in my Harper Collins Robert is "ris de veau," or "calf sweetbread". Yecch.

Not a favorite, but decent.

- Horace


  1. Another very easy weekend puzzle for me. However, maybe I was helped by Dad actually filling in several answers, including MARIETTA, OVERSTRUNG (which I am not crazy about either, Horace), DAILYMIRROR, and WAYNE. Overall, I enjoyed this more than yesterday's effort. Many clever clues. I liked "One holding the line," "Long meals," "Bark part," and "Apt to strike out." I, of course, knew ITASCA as soon as I got the I. I did not, however know the derivation of the name. Interesting; I always assumed it was Native American in origin. Dad and I don't see your issue with RIS. There is no indication that the word has to be a noun. If you can say "Je ris," meaning "I laugh," isn't that enough to make "ris" as an answer to "laugh" just fine? I also like MADLIBS. I wasn't crazy about DRILLPRESS. There is nothing wrong with it, but to me none of the bits that you would use with that tool would really be ALL that long. Funny, I never considered the other meaning of "boring." I wanted the answer to be OFFSHORERIG (I know it doesn't quite fit), or some such thing. They have a truly long drilling bit, but maybe that's not the common term for what they use to drill for oil.

  2. I was wondering if Dad would know Marietta. I'm impressed that he know Wayne, too.

    And I suppose, if you take Ris as the imperative, it could be thought to mean "Laugh!" But I still think it's weak.

  3. DNF
    I worked on this for 56:07 but only the SE and E were getting filled in. I had HIGHSTRUNG instead of OVERSTRUNG which let to problems, of course. Despite the trouble with Saturdays, I'll keep at these.