Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013, Ian "Livin' Good" Livengood


We worked from bottom to top on this one, and a nice ending it was, with MUGSHOT (8A: Picture with a number), EQUATOR (15A: Where it never gets above zero degrees?), and USOTOUR (16A: One going around the bases?). Quality stuff, all. I think we might have been delayed up there by errors such as "pair" for 1D: Go well (with) (MESH), "eggs" for 19A: Greasy spoon order (HASH) (mmm... hash... and a much better answer than "eggs"), and "entrap" then "ReelIN" for 22A: Successfully lure (ROPEIN) (successfully lured, we were!). Also, CARTOON (23A: Kind of figure) eluded us until the crosses forced it, and we tried "cHarOn" for PHOBOS (32A: Moon of Mars). (Knew it was out there somewhere... but it's actually a satellite of ex-planet Pluto!)

This was a very clean, enjoyable puzzle. A pair of "unreal" clues, some nice long-ish stuff in CROPLAND (42A: Much of the plains states), USERNAMES (9D: Handles online), and CASHCAB (4D: TV game show on the Discovery Channel, 2005-2012). Not much to complain about, really. As we've stated at least a few times, we love seeing EEL (38A: Electric ____) in the grid, and STET (37D: Leave in), ANTE and ANTI, well, you'll have that.

If you haven't seen Google today, they're celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first published crossword. This review is being posted late in the day, but all of their special headers are collected somewhere over there. If I think of it, I'll post a link tomorrow.

- Horace


  1. 13:27. Sometimes a puzzle is just in your roundhouse. I got nowhere on my first pass of the upper half (tried innIE and only corrected it later), but started with Jay MOHR, and then the lower half fell into place. I worked my way around clockwise and ended with MUGSHOT and USOTOUR, like you did. I liked Touch-type? (BRAILLE), Draft pick? (SAMADAMS), and EQUATOR. Very nice cluing. And even the ANTE and ANTI were well clued.

  2. <40 mins.
    Well, Pluto is a "minor planet," not an ex-planet, and the other moon of Mars (it has two) is Deimos, which also fit, and which I put in first. They're both captured, i.e. not originally Mars material, unlike Earth's moon. We (as a species) know of five moons of Pluto so far. Once New Horizons gets to it, maybe we'll see more.

    Anyway, I didn't know about the HOTTUB being 46A Staple of the house in "The Real World" and didn't care. For 8A Picture with a number I'd originally written in MUsical, but 5/7 of the crosses just wouldn't work. I thought that 8D Joe (MUD) was clever, and loved being reminded of one of my favorite places with 56A Hawaiian for "white" (KEA). I also love a reference to the RIOTACT (61A Controversial 1715 measure of Parliament).

    I finished the Google puzzle in just a few minutes, perhaps ten or so. I didn't time it. I had more trouble with the actual first crossword because it had some things that reflected the times in it.

    Happy Winter Solstice everyone. We can raise a glass at 12:11 PM today as the Sun's midriff kisses the Tropic of Capricorn. Horace, I'll be having two fingers of Redemption rye whiskey, 46% alcohol by volume / 92 proof distilled from a mash of 95% premium rye and carefully aged in new charred oak barrels. Batch No. 079, Bottle No. 1695. Sue is having tea.

  3. Mmmmm…. rye…

    And "musical" would have been great for 8A.