Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013, Josh Knapp


When I started this puzzle I was half watching TV, and after my first pass on the Acrosses, I had just one answer filled in: SECRET (56A: It can be dangerous when leaked). I had better luck with the Downs, getting six or seven. Then I passed it over to Frannie, whose frequent chuckles and cries of understanding announced that she was having a better time of it. When she handed it back to me, the rest fell like a house of cards, and I wasn't sure how I missed things like 18A: Key represented by all white keys on a piano (CMAJOR), or 14A: Summer time eponym (AUGUSTUS) (although, isn't the eponym the word that is derived from the name?) (hmm... I guess not. The first definition is the person from whom..., the second is the name or noun formed in such a way. I've learned something!)

But back to the puzzle - any puzzle with DRSTRANGELOVE (34A: '60s film character wearing one black glove) is all right with us. That's gotta be one of the top five movies ever made. So good... And Frannie's favorite (and one of the ones that elicited a big "Aha!") was ETA (6D: Attic character). Nice hidden capital! There was tons of good stuff in here. 47D: Neckline? (FRET), 9A: Brothers' keepers? (ABBOTS), 9D: Sock sound (BAM) (I'm thinking "Batman" here)... and even the more normal fill is interesting - TRUDGE (21D: Proceed wearily), MEWL (49D: Baby sound), PRAGMATIC (31D: Sensible). It's pretty much all good.

We would have finished about fifteen minutes earlier if it hadn't been for two errors (both my fault) that kept us from figuring out 48D: Union ____. The first was that I put in TUa, for 53D: Yours, in Turin (stupid genders), which led me to guess TanLESS for 57A: Like some sunbathers. I thought it was clever, but it made SHOn the answer to 48D: Union ____, and that didn't make any sense. Finally, working from that problem, I tried SHOP, and then Frannie called out TOPLESS!, and that's always a good way to finish.

- Horace


  1. 56:24
    First, always good to learn something. I learned about eponyms in general and didn't question it. Now I know both the first and second definitions. I still don't get ETA, but I'll keep thinking about it. TOPLESS is excellent. I've noticed that these NYT puzzles are often a bit on the naughty side with drug and sex references. FRET caught me totally by surprise. I loved 48A Biblical waste? SMITE, which led to MEWL. I realize that Horace is sometimes against Bible references, and so probably didn't like that one. TOOLCASE was good, SILICONVALLEY, and what about 35D Pie-baking giant DOMINOS? Lots of great stuff here, and finished in under an hour. Not bad.

  2. Attic = Greek.

    SMITE wasn't bad, I'll grant you. Funny about my aversion to all things Bible. You're working that bit hard.

    Also agree about DOMINOS. I was very close to calling that one out in the writeup.