Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013, Jim Hilger


If we had been doing this on paper, we would have finished in about 25 minutes, and we would have wondered about the ALETA (55D: Prince Valiant's love / ESTE (66A: Villa d'____ ) cross, but it probably wouldn't have bothered us all that much. But solving electronically, we put in that T and got a message that the puzzle was not entirely correct. So I spent half an hour trying different letters (S, N, M, L, I?, O?), and I tried to think of other words for SOWED (56D: Scattered), and even wondered if ESTABLISH (34D: Form), could somehow end differently. It was late, and I eventually put it down. Thankfully, while I slept, Frannie, like the elves for that cobbler, made things right. She picked up the puzzle, didn't recognize the name SeTO (4D: 1974 Peace Nobelist), and tried SATO instead. Bingo. I don't think she knew the name Sato either, but she did know that ROMA was a better answer for 14A: Ruler of Gallia and Brittania, once. Give clue names in a different language, get answer in same different language. D'oh!

So, after that long intro, what did we think? Well, as you might guess, it wasn't our favorite. Lots of threes again, but somehow it didn't feel as bad in that respect as yesterday. There were some good ones - did you notice that "obituary" fits exactly in the spot where EULOGIES was needed (20A: Passing remarks?)? I liked seeing TMI (64A: "I really didn't need to hear all that," in texts), and Frannie liked the gender-bending clue 66A: Queen of mystery (ELLERY). SYNOD (12D: Council of clergy) makes us think of the famous "Cadaver Synod," so there's some entertainment value there. And who doesn't like a DONUT?

There were, however, a lot of proper names (SATO, GOLDA, RAISA, NATASHA, DENIS, ISOLDE, ALETA, and, I guess, ELLERY and HADES), and the low point today, I think, was probably 50D: Some reuners. Really? "Reuners?"

The theme was fine, and I thought the five wraparound "Shades" was a nice touch.

- Horace


  1. 42:02 (on paper).
    Yes, ROMA, and I don't take a DONUT any longer. Never seems worth it. Also, I originally had OBITUARY where EULOGIES belongs, but of course, nothing else would work out. Reunioners? (Nah.) Attendees of reunions? (Maybe.) I don't know about "Reuners" either.

    I suppose I'll keep on doing the Telegram puzzle. I've paid for that for the year also, now, and your father likes to discuss it. Today's time: 10:07.

    On Thursdays I also get the Webster Times, which, as you know, has a puzzle. I didn't time myself, but wanted your opinion on a few clues. 51A "Agents making busts" and 18D "A crack investigator?" had as answers NARCS and NARC. Also, 40D "Calendar square" and 60D "Calendar square" had as answers DAY and DAY. Are such things allowed? Is it just me, or is this horrible puzzle-making?

  2. That is horrible puzzle making. All four of those clues appeared in the same puzzle? "Calendar square" twice?!? With the same answer!?! Yes. Horrible. Not allowed.

  3. The more I think about, the worse it gets. Couldnn't they at least have clued the second DAY differently? It's disrespectful to the solver.

  4. Yes. Same day, same puzzle, same clue, same answer. Even Sue was aghast.

  5. Not impressed with the SHADES wraparounds.