Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013, Clive Probert


We didn't know that a PACA was a 1D: Spotted rodent, but it was INFERable (in a way) (27A: Gather, logically) from the crosses. The same was not true, for me anyway, of CSTAR (31D: Astronomical red giant). We will be interested to hear whether or not Huygens knows this term. Me, I hadn't heard it so as to remember it. Nor had I heard (so as to remember) of the city named SOCHI, which is, apparently, the 30A: Russian city, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. I guess I'd better start paying attention to more of the so-called News. Oh, and one more thing - we know a lot of French people, and never once have we heard any of them say ALLOALLO (20A: Repetitive French greeting). 

Anywho, enough complaining. We liked plenty in this puzzle. SLOB (9D: One whose work is not picking up?) was nice, and although other reviewers sometimes complain about cross-referencing, we rather like it, so 14D: Least like 9-Down (NEATEST), was fine with us. 47D: Sister (and occasional rival) of Venus, had us both thinking of mythology, and it wasn't until this morning that we finally realized it was really about tennis! And while we're down there in the SE, we put in "Prospector" immediately for 50A: One who hoped things would pan out? It's amusing that FORTYNINER also fits in those same squares. Fortyniner also fits in much better with the "numbers" theme of this puzzle. When it started out with "Fifteen" and "Thirty," I was kind of hoping for "Sixty," but no dice.

Lastly, 36D: Partiers at a hooley made us laugh. I've gotta look that word up, and then start using it all the time.

- Horace

p.s. Totally missed the other theme entries of LOVEBOATS (weak), FORTYNINERS, and GAMESOVER. I guess the sequence did make sense, and I was missing out on more than I realized when I didn't understand "SERENA."


  1. ~29:00
    I forgot to hit the timer start again! I wish it would start automatically. Anyway, I had some trouble, believe it or not with the cross SOCHI / CSTAR since I wasn’t sure where on the star chart a red giant lands, but I eventually got it. I had TIALEONI at first, but LiTO didn’t fit, so changed that. Of course I remember the show THIRTYSOMETHING but never watched it. Seemed like a bunch of whining to me (I was twenty-something at the time). I’ve never heard anyone refer to cruise ships as LOVEBOATS. What…is this some number theme? OH. I get it: tennis scores. I don’t play tennis. (I wrote the preceding this morning after finishing the puzzle.)
    So yes, I was thinking of mythology also for the sister to Venus, but eventually came up with SERENA. Back to SOCHI, I don't know whether the so-called news would have helped out much. I don't recall ever seeing it on the TV news or reading it in the paper.

  2. We also had Tia Leoni for a while, but Frannie saw the error. And your trouble with CSTAR verifies, for me, that it was too obscure an answer.

    As for Sochi, I expect after next year I'll have heard the name a lot more.

  3. Not particularly hard or interesting, but DNF because of Tia Leoni. I've seen the name a million times, but it's apparently not something my brain deems important enough to keep straight. I knew SOCHI, of course, since I tend to follow sports and current events. Theme was cute enough, but I hated that FORTYNINER had the nine in it. Forty and fortynine are different numbers. Only the former fits the theme. Was it a coincidence that ALLOALLO could also be read as "all zero, all zero"? Kind of fits the theme, especially coming as it does right below LOVEBOATS. THRUM and its clue kind of annoy me. Funny you were hoping for sixty, Tom. When I filled in the first two, I was hoping for forty-five. I was thinking multiples (which, when you think about it, would be fairly lame in a Times crossword).

  4. Funny idea about "All zero...," but I think it highly unlikely that anyone else thought of that possibility. I agree about the Fortyniner clue. Should have gone with something like "Forty winks" or whatever, but I suppose it's not that easy to swap out the last five letters of a ten-letter answer. I've gotta get going again on my puzzle construction efforts!