Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013, Paul Hunsberger


Frannie told me it was a rebus, but I didn't believe her until she started putting them in. A rebus on a Wednesday!? What does that mean for tomorrow??

But let's get to the fill. I like OCTOPI getting a shout out as 1A: Highly intelligent invertebrates. I gave up eating them when I started seeing surveillance lab videos of an octopus getting out of its own tank at night, traversing - out of water - to another tank to eat fish, and then going back into its own tank again. There's video of them using tools, hiding themselves with large shells, camouflaging themselves in ways that make chameleons look like cheap amateurs... anyway, if you're still reading, and you eat octopus from time to time, stop doing that. Or do it more, maybe, because in a few years they'll probably be rounding us up to work in their prawn and crab hatcheries. They'll use their "55D: Arm of the sea?" to keep order...

Where was I? KIT[TENT]AILS (11D: Plant with fluffy flower spikes)? I didn't know the name, but I think I can picture them. TEMPLETON (46A:"Charlotte's Web" rat)? Didn't remember it, but I like any reference to E. B. White. ASWAN (59A: Egyptian dam site)? Huh. Didn't know that one either.

One that I did know, however, was 70A: The "cetera" of "et cetera." The "cetera" is "the rest." It is not, "so on." If you're going to ask for a translation of Latin, make sure that your answer is the correct translation of Latin, not some idiomatic version of it. That clue/answer made me dislike this puzzle very much. I'd blame the creator, but LISTEN, this puzzle has an editor, and it is that editor's job to check for ERRORS, is it not, and to do so COMPTE[TENT]LY? Maybe we should find an octopus and make it editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle.


- Horace


  1. I, for one, will welcome our new cephalopod overlords . . . I disliked this puzzle before I filled in the very odd-looking (in this context) SOON. (By the way, Rex also hated that clue/answer. You should check out his blog just for a link to a hilarious SCTV skit.) I mean, I like a rebus as much as the next guy, but here's an idea: Have a point! Where is the revealer? Where is any hint at why there are five tents scattered around the grid? Other than the lame "theme" and the egregious SOON, I thought this puzzle was average. Maybe a little too much crosswordese, a handful of nice words, including the aforementioned OCTOPI, OTTAWA (although for me the clue was ridiculously easy), COHORT, TEMPLETON (I watched the animated version of that many times with Maggie), VENGEANCE. This puzzle calls for my ending on a negative note: Add ATNO (as clued here) to the long list of entries that I'm sick of.

  2. Yes, ATNO is no prize. Where are the EELS of yesteryear?

  3. Jeez, when SCTV was good, they were very good. That skit was hilarious.

  4. 41:24
    SCTV was, indeed, great. I didn't mind this puzzle, but I agree with ET59 that there should have been SOME clue as to why the [TENT]s were in the puzzle. Odd. Perhaps both the constructor and editor should be PENTITENTs for this transgression. What would be a suitable penance? I did enjoy the interesting-looking use of the rebus in 54A A little less than 100% (NO[TENT]IRELY, though.