Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013, Jeff Chen


This was a lot of fun. Very tough, and if we weren't solving "in tandem," as one commenter recently put it, I doubt it would've been completed. At least it would have taken quite a bit longer.

Let's see, where to begin? How about with 1A: Where a lot of dough gets thrown around (PIZZAJOINT). The answer just had to be something like this, but "Pizza parlor" didn't fit, so I put in "Pizza place" at first, and that stayed for a while. And strangely, it was an incorrect answer for a down that got us the correct answer for the across. Frannie got ANTIMATTER (15A: Fuel for a warp drive engine on "Star Trek") (We so wanted "dilithium"...) and then WHITENOISE (17A: Sleep aid, for some), and then 7D: Winnebago relatives (OTOES), which we both knew had to be a tribe, looked like this _TO__, and the first thing that popped into my head was "Otomi." That's a tribe, isn't it? Anyway, that immediately gave us "joint." And that's why I'm telling this story, right?

But while we're up in that section, let's just think a minute about PAWN (1D: One with promotional potential) (!) and ZTILE (3D: "10" is inscribed on it). Both of those are beautiful. And even though this very morning I took breaks from the puzzle to make moves in Scrabble games, I still couldn't come up with that second one!

Other beauties - INHERIT (23A: Get by force of will?), ESSO (14D: Standard breakup creation) (possibly the best clue I've ever seen for "Esso"), GOWEST (25D: Follow the sun?), TIEONEON (29A: Become stiff), and the nice couplet of ATTACKS and RETREATS, both clued with "Follows a military order."

I didn't love BIODATA (38A: Info about a person's education and work history), perhaps because the clue was so prosaic, but, well, if that's the worst of it, you're not too badly off.

It's been a good week.

- Horace


  1. Agree with you completely, Horace. Fun and tough. Actually, for me only the NW was tough, but that was very tough. It was also the most fun part. I thought of pizza pretty quickly, but then for some reason I rejected it. I too was thinking parlor, and since that didn't fit, i thought it might be something else altogether. Absolutely love cluing for PAWN and ZTILE. Two of my favorite games, but both stumped me for a good long stretch. Dilithium would have been, as Buddy likes to say, epic. One of my favorites that you didn't mention is "Temple imperfection." Wanted "lap" for "Zip around a field."

  2. DNF (after 73:45)
    Dilithium is used for general ship power: lights, life support, gravity generation, impulse drives and other day-to-day needs. Warp drives are powered by antimatter...jeez! It's a good thing that Frannie is around there to set things straight. I got TIEONEON and THEDARKSIDE (23D Temptation for Luke Skywalker). There were a few others that I filled in, like ESSO. I agree with Horace: this is the best cluing that I've seen for that answer. I think that 13D was FACT, 16A is ALAS and 21A is KATO, but other than one or two more, that was it for me. Very difficult puzzle.