Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013, David Kwong


As Frannie put it, this puzzle "lacked afflatus." 10A: ____- car (RENTA) and 13A: "____ it?" (ISNT) - boring, and just kind of arbitrary seeming. And consider these four stripes across the puzzle: DAE, KFC, DAG; LAE, AAH, OSHA; STEN, FEN, ENG; DET, AGO, FUR. It just doesn't feel like it's hitting on all cylinders.

I liked certain pieces of it. Enjoyed the clue for HAL (7D: 1968 space movie villain), and I didn't mind 14D: Staying power (LEGS). 42D: Passed out (DEALT) was nice. And I generally like classical references, like ELECTRA and ORESTES (mythological brother and sister), but the Latin was a little drab. IPSE (59D: ____ dixit), and IDEM (instead of IBID) for 56D: Ditto, in footnotes. 

The one clue I kept thinking of after we finished was 18D: Cappuccino choice. We both drink a lot of coffee, and we thought to ourselves, "What could that possibly be?" And eventually the answer, which was really the only answer it could possibly be without being "small" or "large" (which would have been terrible) was DECAF. How is it that we can both be so stumped by such an obvious answer? Perhaps there's a research paper in the reason somewhere.

Overall, too much boring WNET and YAWED, and not enough sort-of-clever 62D: It may be said with a raised hand and 48D: Feline in un jardin zoologique. 

- Horace


  1. >2:00 (WELL over.)
    But I finished nonetheless. I started by filling in the bottom, having known ELECTRA, WINONA and ORESTES right off the bat. NEMESES filled right in as did TRIAXIAL, however it took a while to remember MIDNIGHTINPARIS. I liked TWITTERFOLLOWER and hadn't ever heard of the game "parliament," so I didn't know that the SEVENOFDIAMONDS led it off. I'd just read a review recently of Princess Leia's one-woman show about her alcoholism and recovery, so I'd heard of her book WISHFULDRINKING. Anyway, I liked this puzzle fine. It was a nice challenge for me, though I, too, didn't like "ISNT it?" and found a couple of the others (ILIED and RENTA) a bit dumb. BTW, I thought that 18D could have been MOCHA and didn't consider either LARGE or SMALL, which would have been lame, indeed. I will probably skip yesterday's (Sat.) and today's (Sun.) puzzle, though. We just returned from ME and I have a full Sunday paper to read.

  2. I finished this one in about 25 minutes (timed by looking at my cell phone at the start and finish.) I guess I'm more in Christopher's camp in that I liked this effort just fine. HAL was indeed great. You didn't mention one of my favorites-- the somewhat edgy SWINGFORIT. TIGRE and its clue almost make the whole puzzle. RILE was cleverly clued, I thought. Also, it started out strong with "Singer's tongue." Very clever.