Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013, Damon Gulczynski


Seemed very easy for a Thursday. Our time would have reflected it better had we not fumbled for several minutes trying to get it accepted by the iPad app. Sure, it says things like MORT, and CORP, but it'll only take a rebus with both. Hmpf.

The trick was cool, I'll give it that. I actually changed Frannie's STUTTERED (50A: Bumbled verbally) to SPUTTERED because I had never heard of a TANSY (51D: Flowering plant). I think we also changed DUST (56D: Sign of neglect) to RUST when we put in RICERS (56A: Kitchen gadgets). It took us forever to realize that either one was possible. As I said, cool. It's really quite a thing that Mr. Gulczynski was able to work four "_ or _" words into the grid AND eight changeable answers. Impressive.

Aside from all that, though, there were several things that seemed tailored to me and my family in this one. For instance, I just took the first German course of my life mere hours before starting this puzzle, and it already helped, with 15A: Eins und zwei (DREI). We did numbers tonight, and I was able to figure it out! Thanks, puzzle, for helping with my homework! Also, my oldest brother and his family are big "Settlers of Catan" players, and he could have helped me with ORE (8D: Resource in the game Settlers of Catan). That same brother is a Reds fan, so CIN (27A: Reds, for short) made me think of him again. And STRATEGO (46A: Game with scouts and miners) went in immediately, too, because my brothers and I used to play that a lot when we were younger.

One thing I'm a little tired of, however, is OSOS (31A: Bogotá bears). That's been in a LOT recently. And I don't often spell TRANKS (69A: Downers, in brief), but when I do, I prefer the spelling "tranqs." Not that either is very good. There's plenty of crosswordsy stuff in here, but the theme is clever, and he stuck in a bunch of "semi-theme" "ors" like ORR, OER, ORE, and NOR so, let's call it a wash. Well, ok, how 'bout slightly better than that.

- Horace


  1. I finished in around 29 minutes, but that was only because of a roughly 10-minute long senior moment. All I was missing were the D and Y in DOYLE. How could I not know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you ask? Right, but as I said, it was a senior thing. For some ungodly reason (maybe because he is a king of crosswordese) I had put it in my head early that Erle Stanley Gardner wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories. How that happened I don't know. I know Doyle well; in fact, one of the ACT tests I use most has a passage about the strange quirks of the author (He believed in fairies, for one thing). Anyhoo, I spent a hell of a lot of time wracking my brain for another Watson and pondering those two letters, even though I thought the Hall-of-Famer was Ed. Finally I saw how DYE worked and soon after that I realized the folly of my thoughts. Like the proprietors of this blog, even after I had the whole thing filled in, it took many minutes for me to figure out the theme. Also loved seeing STRATEGO in there. NIGHTOWL was cooly clued. I have a slight problem with IDIDSO being a "confirmation." When you say that you are contradicting, not confirming. I dpn't know TANSY either. I will look it up after I post this comment. I liked this well enough. Four theme answers is kind of light, though.

  2. 51:36
    I finished this last Thursday, but due to our weekend trip was unable to comment until now. I'll be catching up on my comments over the next two days. I had never heard of UNEVIE (63A Maupassant's first novel), but no doubt englishteacher59, Horace and Frannie had no such problem. For 50A I put STUTTERED in at first (not understanding the theme yet), also, but since TANSY seemed like a problem, I quickly changed it to SPUTTERED. I enjoyed the theme once I understood it, though. One of my favorite clue/answers was 10D Scrooge (TIGHTWAD). Off to work.