Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday, August 10, 2013, Chris A. McGlothlin


Well, I was a little tipsy when I started this one, but I also did it side-by-side with Frannie, so it's hard to tell which was the bigger help. We finished in under an hour, which qualifies as quick for a Saturday, so let's say the alcohol helped at least a little.

I was surprised that GODELESCHERBACH (1A: Title trio of a 1980 Pulitzer winner) came to me so quickly - with just a few letters - but one of my brothers had that book right when it came out, and I remember seeing it around the house quite often. Most of the fifteens came quickly, actually. Frannie guessed PUTSTHEKIBOSHON (56A: Vetoes) with maybe a single cross. The beginning of ONESECONDPLEASE (49A: Moment's notice?) and the end of STATEASSISTANCE (57A: Some government checks) sat alone for a little while before we figured out the somewhat odd-seeming other halves. I mean, they're not exactly "odd-seeming," but they did seem a little arbitrary.

The middle, and especially the West, were harder for us than the top and bottom. I guessed "pages" for PANES (20A: Stamp purchases), which led to one error message at the end, but it was the first thing we fixed, so we're calling off the DNF. If the cross were anything but NOKOMIS (22D: Hiawatha's grandmother in "The Song of Hiawatha"), I'd hear arguments, but as it is, no DNF. Hey, it's our blog, we call it like we want. When we start entering tournaments, somebody else can call it.

Overall, a little uneven in the cluing. 29A: They're often taken on horses (BETS), 10D: Vehicular bomb? (EDSEL) and 33A: Quail (CRINGE) were quite good, but 18A: French preposition (DES) and 7D: Her, to Henriette (SES) were... well, not great. I did love the nod to the Three Stooges with 39A: "____ wise guy, eh?" (SOA), though, and, actually, 46A: Breakout company of 1976 (ATARI) was great too. OK, I liked it. Good Saturday.

- Horace

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