Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013, Peter A. Collins


Frannie and I came home late from the bar last night, both a little tipsy (we had a driver). We worked on the puzzle side-by-side, and were very close to finishing in a single pass from top to bottom. There were a few things we skipped, like maybe PAVLOVA (12D: "The Dying Swan" ballerina), and I doubt we remembered AWN (17A: Grain beard) right away, but whatever we passed on at first, was quickly filled in. I suppose that's the way it goes on a Tuesday, when you have two well-oiled minds working together.

The theme was, I thought, poor. Maybe it's just that I'm a little unclear on the concept, but is THEGRADUATE (51A: 1967 Dustin Hoffman film) really a "date movie?" And the circles... well... Frannie dislikes them in general, and this one was not my favorite circle puzzle, let's leave it at that.

I remember liking a couple of golf-related clues: 53A: Not a club for big shots? (NINEIRON) and, well, now that I'm looking for the other one, I realize that it was a clue that I mistook for a golf clue, but wasn't - 59D: What a caddy may hold. Not a "tee," but TEA. Not bad. Also, I enjoy the word LENTEN, and like any reference to The Simpsons (64A: Neighbor of Homer (NED)). And I have a feeling I've seen the clue 33A: Drilling site (MOLAR) before, but I still liked it.

Lastly, I very much doubt that the use of UMLAUTs in Mötley Crüe's name was facetious, at least as I understand it. If you're just using the word to mean "funny," but not necessarily intentionally funny, then, ok, yes. Maybe.

- Horace


  1. 22 minutes
    C'mon! You don't think that Motley Crue was intentionally funny? Anyway, I didn't like this theme either. Just finding movies that happened to have D-A-T-E in order somewhere in their titles isn't particularly impressive. I, too, enjoyed the TEA clue/answer, originally writing in "TEe", but quickly changing it with the SRTAS answer for 66A. The only movie I didn't know right away was WILDATHEART, but I'll probably not rush to see it.

  2. I actually like the theme quite a bit, even though I tend to hate crossword circles in general, especially random ones. What I like is that these are indeed date movies, which is a broad but distinct category squarely between chick flicks and action films. This puzzle did, though, have two absolutely atrocious clues/answers. First, ALOT for "Bushels" is dreadful, but even worse is EEW for "That's nasty!" That is not how the onomatopoetic interjection is written. It's "Eww." GOERS is pretty damned bad too. The word really doesn't exist on its own. The umlauts are most definitely NOT used facetiously in Motley Crue. Apparently they got the idea from Lowenbrau, a beer that they were drinking at the genesis of the band. More generally, idiotic rock bands thought/think that an umlaut or two evokes Norse ideals of toughness, menace, bravery, etc. There is even a name for their gratuitous mark: the metal umlaut. Now, for an umlaut used facetiously--or better yet sardonically--see This Is Spinal Tap.