Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013, Ed "He Means-a Just What He" Sessa


I like this type of theme, the play on words. AWAYWITHWORDS (36A: Mime's motto?) is my favorite of the (just?) three, but the other two are both good enough. Is it just three theme answers? I guess so, but two of them span the grid, so that's kind of cool.

Some odd clueing, like "21A: Can't deal with" for HATES, and "33A: Blob, e.g." for SHAPE - they're not wrong, but they just seem a little odd. I suppose that's what clues are supposed to be, though, right? So I'm not complaining, really... and speaking of "not complaining," has anyone ever heard the term BOATEL (11D: Floating accommodations) before? We stayed (I guess) on a "boatostel" back in our Eurail Pass travelling days, but I'm pretty sure they weren't using either term at that time. Besides, it was in Sweden, so I wouldn't have understood it even if they had been...

I liked a lot of the fill today. SPEW, ANDES, ESCAPEPLAN, EYELASH, STALAG, IMPALA, ABATES, GASHES... there's tons of interesting stuff to overpower the occasional ATTU, EBON, BAA, AAHS, IRAS and IRAE. Also, it's somewhat funny to have SIR (24A: Title for U2's Bono) followed by DSO (25A: Brit. military honor) ("Distinguished Service Award") (yeah, I hadn't heard of it either...).

A better than average Wednesday, if you ask me.

- Horace


  1. 18 mins.
    I was pleasantly surprised by SPEW, GASHES and STALAG (I'm always happy with a Hogan's Heroes reminder). Also, I starred 35A Phrase before a future date (USEBY) as being clever, and 44A "Something is rotten in Denmark" (ISMELLARAT) both for its being clever and for it being a quote clue. 48D Keister (TUSH) had me for a second as I write in bUtt, but almost nothing worked with that, and I also enjoyed 41A Machine that "nothing runs like" (DEERE) because I hadn't heard that line in awhile. On a side note, I guess that Sue and I stayed in a BOATEL, although we didn't use the phrase at the time: the Samuel Slater river boat in Central Falls RI (

  2. 9:39. I know I'm going to like a puzzle when I can put BUBBA down for 1A immediately and be right. Great to have the double B right above an answer with a double A. Unfortunate to have IRE crossed with IRAE, as they mean essentially the same thing. 42A: "Certain dupe" was clever. It wasn't until I had _EROX that I figured it out, and SHOEBOX struck a note as I have baseball cards in one in my basement. And a shout out to good old Charlie on the MTA! I definitely had fun with this one.