Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013, Alan Olschwang



Blah. What did I just say about 1A? SABENA (1A: Former Belgian national airline)? I say again, blah. RETAKEN, LAA, LIA, EAP, LBO (?), NONACID/ALKALI, XERO, OBLA, MUS, NOI, UAL, IVO... look almost anywhere and you can find something to dislike.

The theme was fine, but not especially challenging. Once you understood the idea, which was early, many could be filled in immediately. We have a fondness, of course, for THEBALCONYISCLOSED (47A: Roger Ebert), and THTHTHTHTHATSALLFOLKS (64A: Porky Pig) is a fun one, but overall, we just didn't love it.

On the bright side, though, FLEX (28A: Move a muscle?) is nice, as is INCENSE (18D: Holy smoke), and 104A: Animal house (BARN) took us forever, but we laughed out loud when we finally got it. So, a few nice ones, but not many.

Lastly, and I tried to end this on an up note with that last paragraph, but then I remembered YESITSME (80D: Possible answer to "Is that you?") Really? And what about CROSSES (94D: Bit of field sport equipment)? What does that even mean? It doesn't refer to lacrosse, does it? It can't.

- Horace


  1. This is frankly a terrible puzzle. Outside of the Porky Pig reference, I was either bored or struggling. Blah. Makes me want to do Saturday and Friday puzzles.

  2. Yeah, Sundays are frequently a letdown after the Thursday/Friday/Saturday trifecta, but this one was especially so. It would be great if you could start doing some other days, as I believe I've already said. I can highly recommend the nyt puzzle app. The yearly subscription for all the crosswords is under $20.

  3. Or Colum could download the print versions, as I do, for $40/year.
    Anyway, I agree with Mr. Amory. I was either writing them in as fast as I could read them or struggling, especially with the NW and SW. It took the usual amount of time (~1:30), and I knew all of the sign-offs, so for the most part it wasn't too bad. INUTERO is always nice to see. I should probably own that. And I was stuck for a little while on 81D Apple product (IPODNANO) just because it was so many letters. And I take umbrage with 46A Toothpaste type (GEL): it isn't PASTE, then, is it?

  4. This one kicked my butt. Three missed squares. The horror, the horror. Adding to my shame, I have to confess that I knew LAA immediately. Does also knowing EMINEM instantly partially offset that?