Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013, Peter A. Collins


Frannie is away on an overnight trip, so I was forced to fend for myself on this one. It was definitely trickier than yesterday's, but I seemed to get into a pretty good groove. It didn't take too, too long, but it did still take a few "closing the iPad and walking away" episodes before everything fell into place. I sometimes think those interludes should be factored in somehow, since my brain is probably still mulling things over while I make dinner, or a drink, or whatever, but, well, that would be difficult to do, and who really cares, anyway? I'm not in a tournament. I only started writing my times down on this blog so that normal solvers would have a more reasonable benchmark than those posted by the "professional" puzzle solvers.

But enough about me, let's talk about some clues! 22A: Fixer, perhaps (VET) was clever, and 24A: Phony blazers (GASLOGS) had me stumped for a good long while. I misread, or misunderstood, the clue for the somewhat common ANODE (16A: Magnetron component), and could think only of "X-Men" and/or Megatron, and I was thinking things like "metal helmet?" "Transformable arm/guns?" Yeah... way off.

The theme (can we call it that on a Friday?) was cool and elegantly done. Nice symmetry for the central instructions, which were flanked by the odd "Robert W. Service" pair. I was not familiar with his 33A: Robert W. Service's "The Cremation of Sam ____" MCGEE. Perhaps I'll look it up. There is also some nice balancing of the GERMINATE/TERMINATE pair with two women's names in the NE and SW. I doubt that was intentional, but I still mention it.

Who doesn't enjoy the mention of INIGO (58A: ____ Montoya, swordsman in "The Princess Bride"), and I like when puzzles have something like 61A: End (TERMINATE) as the last across clue. It's kind of like a sign-off. Yesterday, the clue there was "Fin," and although it was referring to a "{FIVE}SPOT" I still enjoyed thinking of it as French for "end."

And that's probably a good place to end.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. ~1h30m
    I did some of this in the doctor's office waiting for Horace's father to get out of his appointment, to which I attribute around 1/2-hour, but who cares? Anyway, I grimaced at GOTTENIN: that seems a bit clunky. And what about 15A Catches up to (OVERTAKES)? Does that really fit? I've caught up to people in races that I didn't necessarily overtake. There was some crosswordese, too: OLIOS, ATON, NORM. The rest was fine, though. it's a good thing that Frannie was away since there was that mention of ARMPIT (43A Razor target, maybe). I enjoyed AREOLA and the two 15s, which both took me a little while. Also, the cluing for 41A and 42A (Bumped into) was nice, as was 4D He'll "talk 'til his voice is hoarse" (MRED). My biggest problem was in the NE, where I'd mistakenly entered "SNOCAT" instead of SKIDOO, but once I figured out POEMS and remembered ONEAL (for "Paper Moon," maybe?) it all fell into place. One clue that I misread was 27D 39th vice president. I'd originally written in AGNEW, but then started thinking, "Wait a minute! Carter was 39. Who was his Veep?" That made me crazy for awhile until I had the epiphany that the 39th VP probably wasn't the VP for the 39th P. I mean, didn't FDR alone go through three of them? Anyway, this was an overall fun puzzle, especially since I was able to finish it.