Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013, David J. "(It's just too easy)" Khan


A nice tribute to the recently deceased hero of screen, song, and politics. Lots of theme material, mostly symmetrical (not TATA or ATTENDEE), and without too much suffering in the fill. With the possible (probable) exception of ILOILO (16A: Phillippine seaport with a reduplicative name) and STARER (65A: Rubbernecker), but hey, they're symmetrical, too, so that's cool.

I knew he was imprisoned for a long time, but ROBBEN ISLAND (8A: With 68-Across, prison where 36-Across (NELSONMANDELA) spent 18 years) was not something I knew. Also learned the term PONYCAR (24A: Class of automobile inspired by the Ford Mustang) today.

I'm not sure why a VAT should be an "63A: Acid holder" rather than a holder of just about anything, but, well, it's a Mandela tribute puzzle, how critical am I going to be?

In non-theme fill, we enjoyed WALLOWIN (2D: Be immersed by), FREEREIN (6D: Unlimited latitude), and TRIAGE (49D: Battlefield procedure).

Merry Christmas, if you're celebrating, and if not, and you're in the northern hemisphere, happy winter!

- Horace


  1. 14 mins.
    Well, I didn't star anything today, though I did enjoy the puzzle, especially all of the theme fill. 4A Large number (RAFT) was good, I thought. I once took a class on APARTHEID (48A Bygone policy in 60-Across), but I was very interested in following the Grateful Dead around at the time, and not particularly interested in the class, so I regret that I learned very little about it then (in 1986). I've since learned more. I thought that 35A Chicago White ____ (SOX) could have been clued differently given this year's professional baseball season outcome, but I didn't construct the puzzle. As Huygens, I enjoyed OGLE (69A Watch like a wolf), and maybe, in a stretch, TIE (34A Knot), but not particularly with those clues.

  2. 9:29, with the help of my brother, my nephew, and my mother. I didn't much like the fill or the cluing. But my mother knew ROBBEN ISLAND so that helped. Not too impressed.