Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013, Tim Croce


A nice, tough, Thursday. It was slow going, and since we worked top to bottom, the revealer didn't help much, except to explain how all of those things related to "chaos." GENERALDISARRAY (58A: Chaos ... or a hint to the contents of 17-, 28-, 34-, and 43-Across) explains that the word "general" appears, broken up, in each of the theme answers. I don't mind this type of theme, and general is a pretty long word, so it seems worthy.

Except for one square - the "A" in the BARA (49A: Silents sex symbol)/RACEME (43D: Flower cluster on a single stem, as in the honey locust) crossing that we guessed correctly at the very end - we "50A: Bogged down" (INARUT) (Frannie didn't think this exactly parallel) in the SE, where such lovely clues as 61D: Ship's departure (YAW), 47A: Continental pass name (EURAIL), and 51D: Like chestnuts (TIRED) ("old chestnut" is one of Frannie's favorite phrases - and thing to spout) eluded us for quite some time. (How's that for a sentence?)

The long stuff was all strong, and there wasn't much to grouse about. A fine Thursday.

- Horace


  1. I guess this did skew tough for a Thursday. I finished it in two separate sessions on the can, one before bed last night and one before my shower this morning. Seemed quite a bit easier this morning. Wasn't it nice to see local-guy-made-good Len Berman in the grid? Had RunRAGGED for most of the puzzle. I guess the answer has to be understood in the active rather than the passive for the RAN variation to work. That A in RACEME/BARA was a correct guess for me too. Another correct guess was the I in LIN/VARIG. That strikes me as even more of a Natick than the previous. Borders on unfair really, I think. ARRANT is very high quality fill. "Brobdingnagian" is high quality cluing. Loved seeing Bird and the Good Doctor in this thing. Good theme, good execution. Liked this one a lot. That Tim Croce really had some nice hits back in the day, didn't he?

  2. Being somewhat attuned to the world of "high architecture," Maya LIN was a pretty confident guess, and Frannie somehow knew about the airline when we saw it a short while ago, so it rang a bell again today. ARRANT was nice. I meant to mention that one.

    Good ol' Jim Croce... What ever happened to him? Is he dead?

  3. Jeez... Another plane crash victim! How is it that I didn't know that? (Or, perhaps, remember it)

  4. Untimed, but about 20 minutes, with my brother and I doing it together, which helped a lot as he knew both VARIG and EMIRATES off only a few crossers. Some seriously risque fill here, such as ANAL and AREOLA, the last clued even more risque-ly. I like the theme idea, and it's carried out well. Some cluing I didn't like, such as 11D: completely tuckered out (RANRAGGED) doesn't quite fit - you run somebody ragged, it seems to me. Also 55A: Oscillates (VARIES) seems off. Definitely liked EURAIL and SEAFARERS. Overall I enjoyed it.

  5. 65 mins.
    RANRAGGED is just fine. The clue needs to be read as if one "completely tuckered out" someone else, i.e. the person ran the other ragged. I had ARRANT starred as a nice word and had never heard of a RACEME. Until Horace explained it, I didn't understand the TIRED, but it was all that fit with the crosses. I'd never heard the term IKES for 31A Pre-Susan B. Anthony dollar coins, informally and I thought that 19A Search for, in a way (GOOGLE) was clever. 52A Animated greetings (ECARDS) had me on totally the wrong track of thinking for awhile and I liked 53D Alternative to hell? (DRAT). Like Colum, I enjoyed both ANAL and AREOLA, the latter finally having a reasonably, though not perfectly, blue clue. This was the most difficult Thursday in a little while, but it was doable.

  6. I still disagree about RANRAGGED. I don't think tuckered should be used in an active sense rather than an adjectival sense.