Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013, Tim Croce


Deb Amlen, in her crossword blog for the NYT (Wordplay), sometimes will use the word "chewy" to describe a puzzle. I usually resist such a descriptor, but today, once we finally finished this beast, that word, and "crunchy" (which Frannie liked better), both came to mind. This was tough, and when we hit "submit," we were both a little surprised to immediately get the "Well Done" message. I guess it shouldn't have been such a relief, but after a fight like that, you just don't know.

But while this was difficult for us, it was also well done and satisfying. HEYMRDJ (1A: 1993 hit with the lyric "Keep playin' that song all night") is a great way to start. Almost none of that, taken in part, looks immediately promising. And just below that, ICKYPOO (16A: Gross, to a toddler), while valid, is also not a gimme. At least not for us. And just below that, an even grosser clue/answer pair: 17A: A guillotine is used to remove them (TONSILS). Coincidentally, we just saw an episode of "Antiques Roadshow" (it might have been the British version) where someone brought in antique medical instruments. A tonsil guillotine was among them, and the operation was described. I had actually thought/hoped that the practice was now done in a different way. Oh well...

The other seven-stacks were all pretty clean. The clue for MARINES (16A: Blue dress wearers) was a bit tortured, but I guess "Dress Blue wearers" would have been too easy. And who knew MIAHAMM had a clubfoot? Not us. (It's somewhat amazing that "Dempsey" also fits here!) And speaking of interesting trivia alerts, how about 65A: ABC's first color program, with "The" (JETSONS)?

The SE was the last corner for us, and we almost gave up there, until we changed "Falls in" to REELSIN (64A: Gets on the line?), and "Ad blitz" to PRBLITZ (66A: Big spinning effort). Then the groanable ONER (57D: Standout), which we had resisted, had to be entered. We guessed at TSGARP (48D: Literary son of Jenny Fields), and Frannie thought ANNASUI (61A: Fashion designer behind the fragrance Rock Me!) seemed plausible. NEB (62D: Tortoise's beak) was also not known to us.

Some very tricky cluing (54D: Setting of "Love Me Do": Abbr. (GMAJ), for example), and lots of meaty fill (that was for you, Deb), makes for a good Saturday.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. CTY finished with Bobby's corrections, so DNF.
    I liked 27A Friday, e.g. (RIGHTHANDMAN) and was surprised at JETSONS. I never heard of ANNASUI, thankfully. I thought that 25A Shed material? (PETHAIR) was kind of ICKYPOO. Anyway, this was a bit tough for me.