Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013, Nina Rulon-Miller


Not a bad rendering of this common theme. A certain part of theme entries, in this case, the last half, can be put with another word, in this case CHAIR (64A: Head, as a committee … or a word that can follow the ends of 16-, 29-, 36-, 47-, and 61-Across) to make a compound word. So we get different chairs, and they all work well, in that they are all common chairs, and the theme entries are all common, normal things.

In the fill we get symmetrical crosswordese with RUER (13A: Regretful one) and ERTE (66A: Onetime Harper's Bazaar illustrator), which is strangely satisfying. ELBE (51A: River to the North Sea) and ATOP (25A: Perched on) are also symmetrical, but those two are maybe not quite so crosswordsy. Balancing off the standard fare, though, we have SLOUGH (52A: Cast (off) and STEPPE (22A: Treeless plain), and many of the falling sevens are quite nice. NUTCASE (2D: Crackpot), SPLASHY (40D: Ostentatious), and NEBULAE (41D: Interstellar clouds), to name a few.

Overall, this played slightly harder than some Mondays, and it was also a bit more interesting. What more can we ask of a Monday?

- Horace


  1. 6:37 (should have been shorter but I misspelled SLOUGH as SLOUpH somehow). TESSERA is always nice. I also like Bobby ORR's classic presence. SERIFS is nicely clued with "font lines." I guess Play-Doh is PUTTY, but I never thought of it that way.

  2. Horace, here's that blog entry I was telling you about.

  3. 13:51
    I was stuck with JOLLY and EYED (!), thinking at first "merrY" and "seEn." That held me up for a bit. SERIFS was, indeed, nicely clued. I also enjoyed 16A Coerce (STRONGARM). I have to assume that I got 15D Game: Fr. (JUU) correct, but since I solve on paper I don't get a "Well done!" so I don't know. Good mention of a SPEAKEASY and somehow I found UPPERDECK to be a bit off-color since that brings to mind a common prank that I'd rather not get into.

  4. "Juu" is incorrect. I'm not surprised you didn't get that one, but I am a little surprised that you didn't know ENIAC, the famous early computer. Maybe a French I class should be added to your many activities. As has been discussed before here, that foreign language seems to be the darling of NYT Crossword constructors.

  5. "Juu"?! ("He distinctly said "jew") Does that look like a word in any language??

  6. I put uNIAC. That's why I had juu. I hadn't thought of ENIAC for many years. And ET59, what about Hawaiian? There are plenty of strange-looking words there, so why not French?