Sunday, October 6, 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013, Byron Walden


Frannie and I passed this back and forth with Huygens, and although the time says it was a decent challenge, it never really felt that way to me. Three people doing a puzzle together makes it seem pretty easy. Still, there were plenty of interesting and/or fun clues.

The side-by-side pair of 34D: Tip used for icing (SILENCER) and 38D: They will be missed (DODGERS) was good, and ENS (7D: Nissan bumpers?) is a nice twist on the “_____ starter”-type clue.  It was also interesting to learn (or relearn) that NAPALM was used as the 43D: Dresden decimator of 1945.

How many tragedies are five act (ACTFIVE) (1A: It may provide closure in a tragedy)? And what locals, exactly, call MANX CATs “stubbin?” Do they come from the Isle of Man?! Interesting. And I did not realize that DOYOUWANNADANCE was a 50A: 1965 Beach Boys hit. I know it from John Lennon’s “Rock and Roll” album, and before that I would have guessed it was the Everly Brothers, or someone more like that. I also had no idea that FLAX was used as a 10A: Cigarette paper source. And while I’m in this vein, I might as well ask if anyone knew that “monitor” in the clue 16D: Large monitors (KOMODODRAGONS) referred to “any of a family (Varanidae) of usually very large, flesh-eating lizards of Africa, S Asia, and Australia: from the notion that they warn of the presence of crocodiles?” I did not. Very interesting, indeed.

Loved KABOOM (40D: Major report). Enjoyed SEWER (45D: Something beyond the grate divide?). Really, there wasn’t much I didn’t enjoy in this.

A fine Saturday.

- Horace


  1. 53:00. I agree, it was a very nice Saturday. ACTFIVE stumped me for the longest time. I just didn't make the connection to that kind of tragedy. All of Shakespeare's tragedies, of course, are five acts. I kept thinking about service, payment, revenge, and a bunch of others that didn't fit. Got a kick out of "Bad thing to lose," even though--since I had "mind" originally-- it provided one of my three write-overs (the other two were "wise" for SAGE and "nsa" for NSC. Interesting tidbit about monitor lizards; I certainly did not know that. How about "Abandon one's efforts, informally"? Wasn't that cool? Even though I did love this offering, one cross I did not enjoy was AAHS with OHMYMY. One last thing, wouldn't "Second in command?" have been much better without the question mark? Why are they needed in Saturday Times puzzles? Let's start a campaign: NO ?s Thursday through Saturday!

  2. Sometimes I agree with your "No Question Mark" crusade, and sometimes I don't. I think maybe "Second, in command" wouldn't have needed one. Or would the comma make it too easy? It's difficult to know, now that I already know it.

    I certainly think "Lightly Hailed" (SAIDHI) doesn't really need one. And is "Something beyond the grate divide?" so ridiculous and odd that the question mark is understood? I guess I'd be in favor of taking them out on Saturdays, and maybe Fridays. But it would take them a step closer to Cryptic Crosswords... and maybe some folks think that the weekends are already tough enough...