Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013, David Sullivan


I've said it before, and I hope to say it many, many more times – when you have two people doing a puzzle at the exact same time, it can go very, very quickly. Frannie and I worked together on this one and went easily from top to bottom with very few wrong guesses. I put in "doeth" for DOEST (25D: Biblical verb) just off the idea that the first letter would be a D (it was), but it wasn't hard to fix once we read 44A: Dog that bit Miss Gulch (nice clue!) (TOTO).

Another good thing about having two people looking at a puzzle is that when one (read: me) says to the other (read: Frannie) that he doesn't think there's a theme, that other might say something like, "Well, there is something going on with STRONGWEEK (17A: Good stretch for the Dow), and THEYREHERE (59A: Cry accompanying the arrival of visitors). And whaddya know? She's right. Homonym opposites. Very clever Mr. Sullivan. The other two are nice, too: HIDDENSCENE (23A: Extra after a movie's credits, perhaps), and BRAKEREPAIR (50A: Midas service).

All in all, it had very little junk. The classic YSER (37D: North Sea feeder), and ARG (5D: Falklands War side: Abbr.), and ENO and YAO... but really, quite clean. Even those aren't bad, just somewhat common in crosswords.

Lastly, if I didn't know better, I'd think Will Shortz is playing his own little game with day-to-day carryover. Consider "27A: Try to impress at a party, say," the answer, NAMEDROP, was the theme of yesterday's puzzle. I've been complaining a bit lately about the same words being used in subsequent puzzles, but now I'm starting to think it's intentional! I don't have sufficient proof yet, but I'm going to be on the lookout. An explanation like that would be surprising, but oh, so satisfying. Here's hoping!

- Horace

p.s. I forgot the theme answer that's right in the middle! LOSTONE (39A: 2006 Jay-Z single).


  1. 27:41
    I got stuck on the NW corner until I filled in PINTO and TURN, then everything came together. Not much problem with the rest of the puzzle, but I’d never heard HIDDENSCENE before. I’ve heard of deleted scenes and extra scenes, but not hidden. I thought that STRONGWEEK was a little weak, and didn’t we see a variation of NAMEDROP yesterday? LANAI, HEAVEHO, BRAKEREPAIR, DOEST, EPITOME, NAIVETE: all good. I’d never heard 40D The Big Easy NOLO. I assume that’s short for New Orleans somehow.

    The above was written yesterday morning before 4:00 after I finished the puzzle. Now...NICE THEME. This is one of my favorites so far. Very clever, indeed! I take back that STRONGWEEK was weak, given the theme, which I now like.

  2. You have a typo either here or in the puzzle (here seems more likely, since you also have BRAKEREPAIR), because it should be NOLA, for New Orleans, LA.

    It's true, HIDDENSCENE has probably the weakest clue, and really, what is that? But yes, we liked the theme too.

  3. Yes, my typo is here. I did this one online so as soon as I filled in the last clue it congratulated me. I usually don't have time to do that before work and need to print the puzzle out.