Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013, Jeff Chen


I like this theme of "Water, water everywhere." Who doesn't love a Coleridge reference right in the middle of his crossword puzzle? And the water molecules... well, I don't know about you, but I liked those too. It's just a pity that one of Handel's "Water Music" suites isn't in EMAJ (19A: Key of Haydn's Symphony No. 12 or 29).

Perhaps I'm reading too much into things again, but I enjoyed the other watery references in this puzzle, like HOTBATH (7D: Relaxing conclusion to a long, hard day), ARUBA (One of the ABC Islands), and the unusual clue, 58A: Down a sub, e.g. for EAT. 

In other news, I liked seeing TYCHOBRAHE (29D: Astronomer who coined the word "nova") (questionable) in the grid, as well as EXHORT (37A: Urge strongly), and PATHOS (49D: Pity). And I loved the clever, musical-ish clue for SEEME (53D: Note accompanying an F, maybe). 

All in all, a pretty clean puzzle, and a fun one, right up to the ending of 73A: "This looks bad!" (OHGOD). IMHO (68A: Texter's disclaimer), that was hilarious.

- Horace

p.s. Starting today (and when we remember), we're going to assign a cumulative score for each constructor with at least two puzzles in this blog. This is the second puzzle we've seen by Jeff Chen, and we are happy to report that he is now 2-0.


  1. 11:17
    Tycho Brahe was known for his meticulous plotting of the heavens using the very best instruments available at the time. (After Brahe's death, Johannes Kepler ended up convincing Brahe's family to let him have, or at least borrow, Brahe's reams of notes which led, fortunately for us, to Kepler making his great contributions to humanity.) Upon noticing a star not previously observed, Brahe is generally considered to have coined the term "nova" to describe it, but there is no real way of knowing for sure whether he was the first, I guess. I believe it was written somewhere in his notes to describe the interloper, and I'm not aware of any written reference to a "nova" before that.

    I enjoyed seeing TYCHOBRAHE in the puzzle, and the water molecules were a great touch. Genius. This puzzle in general seemed to fill right in for me, especially after, having filled in the NW corner I figured out WOOLENS, thereby allowing me to guess at WATERWATER EVERYWHERE. I wasn't aware of a depth charge being referred to as an ASHCAN. I agree that EXHORT was particularly nice. HURON was, of course, another watery reference, as was BERG. DYES can be watery too, I suppose. I loved to see HARPY in a puzzle. It reminds me, fondly, of the Lucia Lodge.

  2. Ooh, thanks for mentioning ASHCAN. I meant to comment on that, as I didn't know it in that context either.

    Thanks, also, for the T. Brahe info. I merely meant to question the wording of the clue, as "nova" was a word long before Brahe was born (Latin: new), but I know that he meant that it was first used in this context by Brahe...

    Nice additional water references. I've gotta believe that the constructor thinks of all these things.

  3. 10:41, although I don't quite know why it took that long since nothing was really very challenging. Maybe I was just enjoying it too much. Like the two of youse, I loved this puzzle. I've always loved that poem. Tom, you're right, SEEME is delightful. Had to write over "eroo," which I think is much better than the "correct" buckAROO. Not much else to complain about, though. Liked OHGOD, am bored with IMHO.