Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013, Tim Croce


INAWORD (2D: Not at length): hated it. And my response is about as accurately relevant to the clue as any in the puzzle. There, I said it. Can we talk about 14D: Remedy for a bad leg (KNEEPATCH)? Or 12D: Strongmen of old (TSARS)? In a word, for real this time, LAME. And what's with ADSORBS and EGESTED? They are like absorbed and ejected only MORESO (36D: Beyond that), and not in a good way.

Those of you who know me, would, I think, agree that I like to learn a new thing or two now and then, but SAMISEN (32D: Geisha's instrument) and PIAMATERS (26A: They adhere to brains)? I suppose it is a Saturday puzzle, but it was TOUGHROAD through those two, especially the latter. Next time I hope either Mr. Croce or Mr. Shortz RESEES (47a: Brings in for more tests, say) a puzzle like this and realizes that it is not done TOATURN (16D: Flawlessly) and gets a mechanic, or, say a TOOLER to help them out.

I'll turn the podium over to Horace so he can address the few interesting and clever clues that appeared in this puzzle.

~ Frannie

Well, let's see... I also hated UNDOCK (13A: Shove off), and who, tell me, says URBS (25A: Heavily populated areas, informally)? "Yeah, I live in the Urb. You know, the urb of Boston..." Uh huh.

SONDEs (49A: Meteorological probe) like neither of us liked it, right? Well, although that is true, there were some nice parts, especially in the lower-middle. 30A: Students with outstanding character? (LETTERMEN) gets points for effort. And 36A: Gifted trio? (MAGI) and 37A: Follow the party line? (CONGA) were both very nice.

This was harder than yesterday, and that should make our friend englishteacher59 happy, but at too high a cost, we think. Give us a clean, clever puzzle any day. This kind of slog just angries up the blood.

- Horace


  1. Yes, it did make me happy. I loved it. As you noted, I have been asking for a stiffer challenge, and I got it. I DNFed in 1:46. Darn, I was so close: I had it down to I, L, or N for the intersection of SAMISEN and SONDE and I picked L. Once I looked up the words, of course, I felt as if I should have gotten it, but I guess that's the way it goes. The three you mention in your penultimate paragraph were all good. I also greatly enjoyed "Produces lush sounds," "Round trip for one," (although I reiterate my campaign for no gratuitous question marks) "Direction givers, often," and "Do some work between parties." I think all of the clues are fair. I think "Remedy for a bad leg" is actually quite clever. The only one that I will grant you is questionable is "TOOLER." This is what a Saturday should be. Hell, all I had for the first 20-25 minutes were SOTO and "I love," the second of which, of course, turned out to be wrong. Gradually it all came together. Dang, I wish I had gone with the N! Oh, one last thing, I prefer "Smart Aleck," but I see that either is acceptable. Great puzzle!

  2. DNF in over 2:00
    There was no way for me through this, though I did get around 40% filled in, including the nice MAGI. Currently this caliber of puzzle is just too much for me in general. Perhaps after a year of attempts (notice I didn't give up until today (Thursday)), I'll be a bit better.