Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013, Kevin Christian


I'm guessing it's the anniversary of the release of "E. T." Hmmm... nope. It was released in the U.S. on June 11, 1982. I went to opening night in Worcester with my friend Matt. While we were in line, someone came around handing out buttons that said "I Saw E.T." I believe I still have that somewhere. Anyway, that was, what, 31 years ago? Also, I'm old.

It was very nice to see DREWBARRYMORE (20A: Child actress who appeared with [circled letters]) in the grid. She's been a favorite of mine ever since that day. I think she was also the first theme answer we got. After that, it was basically a fill-in-the-blanks for all related clues, and it seemed like there were a lot of them. I enjoyed the movie when I first saw it way back then, but we watched it again much more recently, and maybe I've just outgrown my childish sense of wonder, but the whole thing just seemed so sappy and terrible to me now. And that includes the horrible, swelling SCORE (23D: Best Original ____ (award for the film with [circled letters])).

The rest of the fill was actually pretty decent, I thought. The NE looks crazy with THEMRS (9D: One's wife, informally) next to ZEROG (10D: Free-fall effect, briefly)(Sounds more like a Superman villain), and TZUS (9A: Shih ____ (diminutive dogs)) on top of HESA (16A: "For ____ jolly good fellow") (ok, that's weak), but I don't mind it, for some reason. Maybe because I like the word ERST (19A: Once, old-style) so much. TOGAE (6D: Forum robes) is a little much, but, well, I guess I'm in a good mood today, because I'm not going to complain about it. I loved the clue for SHINGLES (37D: They're "hung out" by professionals), and I learned how to spell PYLON (45D: Traffic cone). Plus, we got "Thos." yesterday, and AMY (44D: Adams of "The Fighter") today, so that's nice. (And yes, "Thos." is a common abbreviation for Thomas. I've seen "Thos. Jefferson" a lot, for example.)

Maybe I'm blinded by Drew, but I thought it was an OK Tuesday.

- Horace


  1. I just left a comment on Rex's blog calling him an idiot for describing this as challenging. I liked it; it was high on the warm fuzzies meter; but it was quite a simple puzzle. I have circled over 25 clues on my paper that I consider immediate fill-ins, and that does not even include the theme answers, all of which were fun (and beautifully symmetrical) but certainly not difficult in any way. I too am a big Drew Barrymore fan, ever since her voice work on "Olive, the other Reindeer." One of my favorite clues was "Palm, as a playing card." That for CONCEAL is pretty high quality fill for a Tuesday. Also liked the extra effort displayed by "Site of four sold-out 1972 Elvis Presley concerts, for short." How much better is that than "N.Y. arena"? EUBIE Blake is a nice "deep cut" of a musician answer. ERST is nice, but it is classic crosswordese (along with AGIO, and to some extent TOGAE--seriously, who employs the Latin plural in casual conversation?). Only two things slowed me down: I'm always thrown for a temporary loop when constructors include the abbreviation for "saint" before the names of popes; and my one write-over was changing "par" for "Scratch" to MAR to accommodate MOTH, which I thought was cute for "Wool lover." Definitely an OK Tuesday. And then some.

  2. 9 mins.
    Also love Drew. I've got a real problem with SPIELBERG, though, since Sue and I have been watching the awful "Under the Dome" lately. It's unbelievable that Rex thought this was challenging. I could hardly write in the answers fast enough to keep up with my reading of the clues.Yes, ET59, I also get screwed up with "ST" in front of popes, though STLEO is a common answer. Not much blue in here...maybe EYER, but that's a stretch. Disappointing.