Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013, Victor Fleming and Bonnie L. Gentry


I lit'rally fell asleep doing this puzzle. Not from lack of interest, but because it was after midnight and I was very tired. I don't think that's happened before. I got about half the top done, and then conked out. Frannie, like that old cobbler's elves, finished it up while I slept.

As I review it now, there were some entertaining clues in here. 2D: It's more useful when it's busted (BRONCO), 38A: Hated to death, say? (ANAGRAM) (I love these every time), and 58A: Kittens come in them (LITTERS), for example. And there were only one or two that made me say "Meh," like 1D: Frome and others (ETHANS).

The theme is a time-honored one, and there's a lot of it. Six symmetrical theme answers, and twelve words that can all precede the word "line." Not bad. And I'm especially grateful that the constructors clued AIRSUPPLY in something other than a musical way.

Overall, a nice Wednesday.

- Horace


  1. 19:09
    What's wrong with AIRSUPPLY? Oh, wait, that's right.... That was a much better clue for that than reminding us of "All Out of Love," or other such drivel. I liked DOSSIERS (we don't see that too much), EBBTIDES and NARNIA. Also, since I'm in the business, I'm partial to the HARDTIME and PEN pairing. ASARULE, I, too, always love the ANAGRAM clue/answers. That was very clever, and this was a good puzzle overall.

  2. Love the Australian soft rock duo! Who doesn't enjoy singing along to that unforgettable chorus?! I did this one in 11:00 minutes according to the clock on the wall of our kitchen. Horace, we were doing it at very close to the same time: The start and end times I wrote on my copy of the puzzle were 10:43 and 10:54 CST. Very good Wednesday, I think. The theme is workmanlike, if nothing dazzling. I had two major issues with the fill: TABOOED and RECOOK. I don't think I've ever heard "taboo" used as a verb, and cooking to me always indicated preparing food the first time. Reheating is what you do to leftovers. Well, I used the past tense in the sentence about my issues for a reason. "Taboo," it seems, has a verb definition, #6 in my Random House unabridged, #7 on Nothing wrong with employing "deep definitions" in crosswords. In fact, I never like it when commenters complain about a clue just because they are ignorant of a particular usage. Also, the popular second definition of "cook" seems to be "to subject anything to the application of heat." That, precisely, is what one usually does to leftovers. Ho (can I call you that?), I'm with you on all four of your second-paragraph call-outs. Wouldn't it be much cooler to clue ETHANS as "Frome and Hawke" or Frome and Allen"? I too like DOSSIERS. Very nice word. It always makes me think of Major Strasser in Casablanca, who claims that the Nazis have a complete one on Rick. I think that's where Bogie takes the thing and asks, "Are my eyes really blue?" Anyhoo, I third the opinion of a loverly mid-week crossword.

  3. Sure, you can call me whatever you want. Doesn't mean I'll answer... HAR!

    Seriously, though, I completely agree with you about deep definitions. Most people who comment on puzzle blogs are idiots. (Present company excluded, of course. HA!) I, too, took umbrage (typical "blog-commenter" construction) at RECOOK and TABOOED, but I am, of course, forced to agree that they are valid.

    Nice Casablanca reference. Someday I ought to see that...

  4. What, never seen Casablanca?!?! I think I'm up to my third hand on it. Non-stop action and intrigue.

  5. It's a running joke. I have seen the movie more than once. And what do you mean by "up to my third hand on it?"