Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013, Michael Blake


I had a hard time parsing the revealer correctly. I struggled for a while trying to think of how CLOCKPICKY (50A: Super-choosy about timepieces?) (weak) was "candy-coated," but when I saw a few others, like CARTFAIRY (35A: Sprite who helps you find a shopping vehicle?) (also weak), I was finally able to read it as "C and Y coated." I suppose that's supposed to be funny. If all the answers were somehow as tricky as ... wait a minute! They are tricky! Lock Pick. Art Fair. Old Master. Hose Down. And Coate? OK, that one doesn't count. Well, it's somewhat clever, but the new phrases are just so ridiculous.

Huygens gets a little here, with BACKEND (38D: Caboose), EROTICA (40D: "Fifty Shades of Grey" genre) and ORGY (26D: Bacchanalia). I also liked MARTYRS (13D: Ones making sacrifices). It's not given the greatest clue ever, but the word looks good in the grid. And I learned that TWEEDLE is more than just a Lewis Carroll character's first name. It is, apparently, to 44D: Entice with music. Amusingly, another definition given in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is "to play negligently on a musical instrument." One could imagine that both sometimes occur simultaneously.

I guess this one is winning me over as I write it up. It wasn't great or anything, but (especially after yesterday) it was decent enough.

Lastly, I found the HOYLE (41A: Posthumous inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame, 1979) clue/answer pair was quite interesting. I looked into it a little more, and Edmond Hoyle was inducted - as a charter member - for his contributions to gaming in general, even though he died several decades before the game of Poker was invented.

- Horace


  1. Yeah, this was a strange one. I still can't decide whether or not I like it. C and Y-coated is pretty cool, but the theme answers fall a little flat. But maybe it's not so much the answers as the clues. Couldn't M. Blake have made the clues amusing or tricky? My one write-over was changing "rearEND" to BACKEND. I like my first try better. Interesting about HOYLE. Not sure I like him in that Hall of Fame, given the circumstances. I might not lose any sleep over it, however. Some good stuff here. APOGEES, SPRATS, HEATH (the third recent mention of a candy bar; too bad he couldn't work in a couple more, given the theme). Haven't we seen LACOSTE about three times in the last two or three months? Funny, I never tire of filling in the Bruins' great #4. Would love to see more original cluing, though. Ultimately I agree with you: like it, decent enough, cool idea; but maybe not quite fully realized.

  2. I agree with you about Hoyle being in there. I almost put another "weak" after that story.

    Also, I wanted to tell you that Frannie liked yesterday's more than I did, and even more than she liked today's.

    I'm looking forward to the next two puzzles, and am, as always, hoping for good things.

  3. 63:58
    I didn't figure out what in the he-- the clue meant until I had all but COLDMASTERY filled in. At that point I carefully looked at the clue and looked at the answers and noticed the HOSEDOWN part of CHOSEDOWNY, then noticed the AND in the midst of CANDYCOATED and it all fell into place. Not knowing too much about sports or French (I assume, possibly wrongly, that 20A Cette fille, e.g. has something to do with French), the NW was my most difficult, and time-wise, lengthiest, part of the puzzle. The rest was filled in in 25:14 before I left for work this morning. The theme clues/answers were, I think, necessarily clunky. I'm not sure how to make something like that smooth. Perhaps this type of theme belongs in a lesser newspaper, such as the Webster Times.