Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013, Robert Cirillo


Doesn't this just scream "Tuesday NYT puzzle?" Or maybe even Monday. It's loaded with puzzle-y words like TERNS, EGRET, RHINE, EPEE, ALB, and RUES, yet it keeps you interested with entertaining clues like 8D: Almost any character on "The Big Bang Theory" (DORK), 11A: Car with a checkered past? (CAB), and 19D: Place to get free screwdrivers, say (OPENBAR). It's also got a 25¢ word or two, like ASPERSE (5D: Bad-mouth) or AVERT (12D: Deflect), and then there's at least one nice puzzle flourish like the intersection of BIRTH (13D: Word with canal or control) and BERTH (24A: Ship slip). And I haven't even gotten to the theme yet!

Today's theme is the somewhat common "Word that can follow both halves of..." variety, and it seems like there's a ton of it. Four nines, two eights, and a five-letter revealer. None of the theme answers seem strained, and all of the "house" constructions are common enough, even if "Fire House" is somewhat outdated.

This is a fine early-week puzzle.

- Horace


  1. ~15 minutes (I forgot to time it properly!)
    I can only comment on today's because I forgot the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday puzzles in my desk drawer at work on Monday and can't get them until tomorrow! The only snag for me today was the ASPERSE/AGASP cross: two words that I don't use much. Other than that, Horace, you're right. It's a typical early week puzzle. But I don't know: is FIREHOUSE outdated? Most smaller communities still have them as far as I know. I did star the BIRTH/BERTH cross, but figured that you'd mention it, and I also starred 20A Sign of change at the Vatican (WHITESMOKE) because, easy as it was, I like a mention of my old friend, the Vatican.

  2. Did this one on the can before turning in last night. Agree with the above sentiments: Nice Tuesday. Except for one minor point-- my old bete noir STN for "station." ASPERSE was indeed terrific. Absolutely loved the side-by-side IDIOT and DORK. My one cross-out was CAM over "cog." Careless haste to blame. OK, I lied; there are two more answers about which I was not crazy: AIS "for octopus," and PRETTY AWFUL for quite bad. Would have preferred the clue for DREAMON to have been "Early Aerosmith hit." I really did like this one, though. All of the theme answers seem so clean. That's not maybe the most descriptive way to describe them, but I don't know, there's something about them . . . All are what we used to call at Sylvan "multiple meaning words." I like that for some reason.