Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013, Gary Cee



This was a fun theme - song titles with women's names clued by referencing famous people with those last names. For example, COMEONEILEEN clued with 37A: "Hurry up, Ms. Brennan!" I'm not really sure who Eileen Brennan is, but I am quite familiar with the song. On the other hand, I'm not familiar with the song SARASMILE (55A: "Cheer up, Ms. Teasdale!"), but I am quite fond of the poetry of Sara Teasdale.

Nice little nod to the season with 1A: Parade organizer (MACYS), but the other Thanksgiving-related clue, 26A: Turkey isn't one (REDMEAT), seemed kind of flat. Same with 51A: Market makeup: Abbr. (COS), and why is AYEAYE clued with 66A: "Sí!" at sea? Why use the Spanish there? And why is Spanish not used for OLE (70A: "Hurrah!")? Is "Olé" just thought of as common enough crosswordese that it has lost all association with nationality? Probably. And while we're talking about nationalities, is BRITCOM (100A: "Absolutely Fabulous" or "Father Ted") really a thing? Not that we mind it, but we've never heard it before. And speaking of Britain, that seems to be where the term SHORTTON (5D: 2,000 pounds) is used. Over here, where this puzzle is published, we just say "ton."

Some clues we liked:

34A: Eight, for starters? (OCTO)
49A: Like some queens (APIAN)
42D: Older form of a word (ETYMON) Never heard that before, but it's interesting.

Overall, the clueing seemed either lackluster (118A: More Solomonic (WISER)), a little off (9D: Cuffed (SMOTE)) or very obscure (10D: ____ de Nil (EAU)). Not our favorite Sunday.

- Horace


  1. I found this entirely unsatisfying. I don't know exactly how long it took to finish, but it was under 45 minutes. There was altogether too much ugly cluing. Funnily enough, we just saw Eileen Brennan in "The Sting" with the kids the other day, which is a great flick. Also funnily enough, I was browsing through your first blog posts on this project, and SARASMILE was referred to! But, yes, I agree. A poor example of Sunday.

  2. Heh. Funny about Sara Smile. I should have remembered it!

  3. 54 mins.
    I figured out the theme very quickly, which led to my quick (for me) fill. As mentioned at the Gem and Mineral Show, I enjoy a puzzle that I can finish, and while this wasn't extremely satisfying, it was difficult in at least one spot, namely the NE, which took me a full fifteen of my fifty-four minutes! Of the theme clues, I thought that the weakest was 110A "Time to show your cards, Ms. Field!" (LAYDOWNSALLY). And of course, being Huygens, I could have come up with a much bluer clue for 37A "Hurry up, Ms. Brennan!" although it may not have passed Mr. Shortz's editing for this particular publication. Other than that, I thought this a fine Sunday.