Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013, Tracy Gray

Great puzzle for a Monday. Oh, wait, it's a Tuesday puzzle. So, maybe it could have been a little more challenging. I mean, Insurance giant with a duck in its ads? (1A: AFLAC). Seems an awful lot like a Monday clue to me.

Since when was LEE a big name in jeans (11A)? Or do they mean plus sizes? And CHIVASREGAL? That brings me back to the aught seventies. These two clue/answer pairs, along with Mop & GLO (floor cleaner) 62A and a few others (5D. Be lovey-dovey (CANOODLE) and 2D. 1960s hairstyle (FLIP)) that recall an earlier time suggest to me that Mr. or Ms. Gray might be going a little gray at the temples. Not that I mind that, mind you. I'm a little gray at the temples myself. A little older school, and fun, is 24D. "Listen up!," old-style (HARK) - also nicely seasonal.

There were a few clues to GIVEARIP about (39D. be concerned, slangily). For example, 44D. Jackanapes. The answer was IMP. Are those two parallel? Maybe. I don't have any Internetz right now, so I can't verify. Also, in the interests of parallelism, the clue 4D. Bordeaux buddy (AMI) might more properly have had POT as its answer to be equivalently, or at least at all, slangy like buddy. Parallelly, it also has three letters, but, of course, the whole NE would have to be re-worked. 

I enjoyed 57A. Cause of inflation? (AIR). And 45D. Like most jigsaw puzzles (DIECUT) because, on a personal note, I love jigsaw puzzles.

I did not know that Valetta is the capital of MALTA (6D). 

I suppose I should mention the theme, although I took no notice of it myself. Horace mentioned it when I passed him the puzzle at the end. I'm only surprised they didn't get Elgar in there somewhere. And don't worry, all, Horace is fine. He's on break. 



  1. 6:06. I liked several of the answers here, such as LOUPE, HENCE, MALTA, and CANOODLE. I recognized Valetta from my mother's favorite series of books, the Lymond Chronicles (my middle name comes from the main character, and is only one letter different than Frannie's). The theme was fun, and worked out well. Elgar would have been an excellent addition, if maybe a little obscure for a Tuesday/Monday. Did not like OKED. That just doesn't work.

  2. 11 mins.
    I'm with Colum: I've not seen LOUPE in a little bit, so I liked it. For a while, a year or so ago, I saw it nonstop in the Telegram puzzles. CANOODLE was good, too, as was JUNCO (we get many of those little guys around the YBH). Finally, AVALON was good. I didn't know that was 46A King Arthur's resting place. Maybe I should read more. I'll have to ask Sue her opinion on that. The theme was good enough for a Tuesday, though I had to fill in all of the longer clues before realizing what it was. I didn't like PLAGE (47D French beach) for obvious reasons.