Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013, Patrick Merrell


Boy, they're really hammering Mother's Day this year. I'm wondering if Will Shortz has signed a deal with Hallmark...

This one seemed quite easy for a Thursday. It seemed to fall right into our collective wheelhouse, as it were. I went merrily along the acrosses filling them in like it was Monday. "Acne," of course, for 14A: Teen woe (MONO), caused a little trouble later down the line, and the NE was the last to fall, partly because of that, and partly because I don't know what AMB (1D: Government rep.) stands for, and I don't really know of any real 2D: Cartoon character with shades named JOECOOL. Is he a real character? Who knows?

I liked the clue pair 4D: Melees (ROWS) and 10D: Like melees (NOISY). And the clue for WONDERWOMAN (28A: Wearer of a red-starred tiara) was quite nice. Lots of other small, good stuff, like 21D: Personal letters (SWF) and 25D: Can (COMMODE), and the very-obvious-once-you-get-it 16D: Lawyer's need (CLIENT!). Also, 32A: One in the doghouse? (FLEA), and 20A: Hosts prefer them (ALISTS). Very nice. I'll have to look up SMEW (72A: Northern duck), and there were a few other things that were less-than-perfect, but overall, this gets a thumbs-up.

Oh, and one last thing, I'm guessing that Patrick Merrell's mother's, or wife's, name is AMY (51A: Grant or Carter), and that the horizontal line AMY LEADINGLADY is no accident. If I'm right, it's a nice touch.

- Horace


  1. 48:05
    Not bad for a Thursday. I was able to do this one online since I’m taking today off. NTESTS took a little while, as did WONDERWOMAN. I’d never heard of Nina RICCI. 25D Can (COMMODE) was nice, as was 2D Cartoon character with shades (JOECOOL). I wasn’t too familiar with 29A Brit’s tea ___ (COSY), but filled it in OK. I thought that the clue for the oft-seen OBI (40A Tokyo strip?) was inventive, as was 31A Bitter herb (RUE) instead of the usual “To regret,” or something similar.

    It seems that every letter save a “Q” was used today, or did I miss it?

    Now, the above was written yesterday morning after finishing the puzzle. Joe Cool is a later Peanuts character with Snoopy playing the part (you recall that he also played a lawyer, Sopwith Camel flyer, shortstop and a few other smaller roles.

    "Amb." is short for ambassador, our government's representative in a foreign country.

    I, too, wasn't aware of a "smew," and neither is spell check.

  2. Wow. Thanks about AMB. I feel foolish.

    And yes, I saw the Snoopy character referred to in the other crossword blogs. I remember him, and the other characters he played. I guess it's legit, but I still say he's more of a "cartoon character's character with shades." But really, it's fair enough.

    And the smew is quite an attractive bird. They seem to reside mostly outside of this country, alas.

  3. Alas, I will stop my search for a smew on Hayden Pond, then.

  4. DNF. Naticked at the intersection of RUE and NES. I found this to be quite difficult for a Thurday. It took me awhile to get any sort of foothold. Thought JOECOOL was the highlight of the puzzle. I, unlike apparently 95% of folks who comment on Rex's blog, did not fill in "acne" for "Teen woe." Even for easy ones, I always verify with at least one cross.

  5. Smew is a fairly common crossword puzzle animal.