Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013, John Farmer


Well, I was one last-look-at-the-puzzle away from a DNF over here. In fact, I had just written to Horace to say that short of a brain-wave miracle, I was going to have to concede defeat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, brain-wave miracles do happen!

Initially, we crushed this puzzle. Horace made the first pass and completed a lot of it, then passed it to me to be charitable rather than because he needed help. I filled in most of the rest, except for a little problem spot in the NE (that's the upper left, right?) If you're keeping track at home, we have now completed 99% of the puzzle in 23 minutes. You may note a much higher number above where we write the completion time. The spot where three unknowns came together cost us 30 minutes. We had no knowledge of the following: 7D: "Criminal Minds" agent with an I.Q. of 187 (REID); 8D Singer of the #1 single "Try Again," 2000 (AALIYAH); and 24A: San __, Calif. (border town opposite Tijuana) (YSIDRO). I can only hope our fellow solvers have either watched more TV than we have, or traveled to sunny, southern CA. I won't wish that anyone has heard the song because judging by the song's title and the spelling of the singer's name, I don't think it will be anyone's cup of tea. OK, maybe I'm still a little bitter about the two As, and what seemed like, for a very long time, two Is. We had iSIDRO for 24A, but when I looked at it one more time, I thought to myself, could that be spelled with a Y? The answer is yes, yes it can. Okay, that's probably enough about this win that was pulled from the fire. On to other parts.

 96A: Sci-fi battle site (DEATHSTAR)
10D: Vacancy clause? (NOBODYSHOME)
13D: One in a Kindergarten? (EINE) - I thought it could also have been EINs
37D: Shade that fades (TAN)

10A: Body parts often targeted by masseurs (NAPES)
16A: Hatch in the upper house (ORRIN) - Ha!
36A: Pens for tablets (STYLI) - too recherche
1D: Beats at the buzzer, maybe (NIPS) - maybe not
11D: Like the crowd at a campaign rally (AROAR)

I could go on, but suffice to say that Owen Wilson's character in "Midnight in Paris," (GIL), the Jackson/Kingsley film scripted by Harold Pinter (TURTLEDIARY), and Molly Bloom's soliloquy were 'gettable' but are not in my wheelhouse

There was also some nice Huygens material in here:
2D: (ANAL)



  1. I found this one very easy, especially after the last two days that basically kicked my butt. I guess that was your experience too, except that I didn't have any trouble wrapping this one up. Isn't NE upper right? Anyway, forget about Huygens material; this Farmer man is downright perverted. Witness the northwest: NASTYgram NIPS ANAL INTHEREAR. Cindi watches Criminal Minds, so I know the Reid character, but aren't all the crosses pretty easy, or at least unobscure? (Don't tell me unobscure ain't a word, damned google). I didn't like the clue for NOBODYSHOME. Yeah, I suppose it's a clause, but you don't generally hear that term for a stand-alone simple sentence. Also in contrast to you, I enjoyed ORRIN and AROAR. The latter is very accurately clued, it seems to me. I did like TAN. How about "Not likely to be a 'cheese' lover?" Isn't that a good one? Also loved the misdirection of "John Paul's successor." My first two thoughts for the '86 Indy winner were Unser and Mears. Funny how three good candidates all have five letters. A little quick research reveals the following: Mears won in 79, 84, 88, and 91; Unser (one of them) won in 78, 81, 87, and 92. Furthermore Tom Sneva won in 83. What a question, even for avid fans of Indy Car!

  2. 56:26
    Finished! Not terrible. I enjoyed 17A Chutes behind boats (PARASAILS) and 1A Angry missive (NASTYGRAM). Some of the stuff was slow to fill in, like PROTOTYPES, PROPONENT and DIDTO, but most of it wasn’t too bad. (Note: I missed INTHEREAR as blue material, but did notice ANAL! Thanks, Frannie.)