Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013, Ian Livengood


Habemus Papam! And I love that habemus papam in a grid that also includes a SEXT (8D: Message one might not want the tabloids to see), EROTICA (46D: Racy stuff), and the Monster MASH (6A: "Monster ____" (1962 #1 novelty hit)). Mr. Livengood stopped short, however, of clueing NERO with any reference to the Christian-persecuting emperor. I guess that would have been "de trop." I use the French there because I know he'll understand it, since he went ahead and used PNEU (61D: French tire) as though it were a household word, and the slightly more well known (Is that right? It's hard for me to tell, really.) NOTRE (66A: Our, in MontrĂ©al), and ROI (23A: "Vive le ____!"). Frankly (see what I did there?), I would have expected more Latin, or at least Italian, in a puzzle centered around the ultimate MANCAVE (22D: Room with a pool table, wet bar and TV, say), the VATICAN (45D: Current home of 63-Across). 

I will confess, however, to liking this puzzle quite a bit. There was a lot of zippy fill, and I liked the contradictions. VATICAN is spooning EROTICA, but then POPEFRANCIS (63A: Official elected March 13, 2013 (also the very day this blog was begun!)), presides over NOTRE and PEACE (67A: "Later, bro!"). 

I'd say the week is off to a very nice start.

- Horace


  1. 11:22
    I'd say PNEU is more well known than NOTRE, but not than ROI. I, of course, loved the pope theme as well, having just seen Benedict XVI at the Vatican. Sue and I just watched a "Locked Up Abroad" that took place in Sierra LEONE, and I thought that 54A "Abduction destination in fanciful stories" was clever. Also, 24D "Ring champ Max" was nice since I always enjoyed Jr. (Jethro, of course). Anyway, this is the first time I've had a better time than your team.

  2. This was very easy for me--8:01 (rare when a Tuesday goes faster than a Monday)-- but very fun as well. Gotta love a Pope theme. Horace, you must have enjoyed seeing one of your favorite chess players--whose name also comprises your initials! "pneu" is more well-known than "notre"??? Not in my world. Very solid quartet of 7-letter stacks. At first I was lukewarm on COMENOW for "You've gotta be joking . . ." but now I kind of like it.

  3. Indeed, I do love seeing TAL in the puzzle. When I construct one, it is very likely that I will try to include that name.

    Also, you've now blown my cover! Thanks A Lot. (See what I did there?)