Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013, Daniel Raymon


I had no idea what was going on with the theme until I looked at it after the grid was done. I was all set to hate it, because I couldn't understand it, but then it slowly came to me and I laughed out loud, as the kids are saying these days. My favorite was SQUIRTCHASER (43A: Rug rat pursuer?) ("Skirt Chaser"). The strangest was GREATSQUAT (57A: Outstanding posture for a catcher?) ("Great Scott!"). I've seen this kind of "change the sound of one part of a word" theme before, but today it caught me by surprise, and I ended up liking it.

Our solve was done after coming home late and we were both a little sleepy, but I still think this skewed a little harder than normal. Part of the confusion was that once the answer for 15A: Area jiggled while twerking (REAR) (They went there, apparently…) was four letters and not three, I assumed it would be "Butt," and actually took out GEOM (6A: Math subj. with proofs) for a time, even though we both knew that was correct. Multi-part abbreviations also were slow to come to us, like TREX (29D: Cloned menace of film) and SQIN (55D: Newspaper ad meas.). 59D: Proterozoic ____ (EON), too, seemed strange. It's legit, but we both thought only of "era."

The fill contained what is, perhaps, my least favorite "crossword word," REUNE (47D: Attend a homecoming, say). No one says that. But on the other hand, it also contained MASON (1D: Perry who's on the case), which made Frannie quite happy.

A slightly mixed bag, but now that I understand the theme, I'm giving it a thumbs up.

- Horace


  1. 23 mins.
    I thought that the puzzle skewed hard also. I kept GEOM in, knowing that was correct, and realized what was happening with the theme early on, but I had to think long and hard about 45D Battle cry (ATTACK) for some reason. One of its crosses, 53A The last 30 seconds of many TV shows (TEASERS) had me fooled as I originally wrote in creditS, only one letter of which was correct. That screwed up Horace's favorite REUNE as well as ASPS, which I knew must be the answer to 54D Cobras of Egypt and SQIN (already mentioned by Horace). I thought the clue for APERS (39A Follow-the-leader sorts) was a good one for the often-seen answer. Other than the SE, the grid was pretty fast for me, and I enjoyed the theme, so a good Wednesday.

  2. I guess this one did skew a tiny bit harder than usual for a Wednesday. I did it in one our LAVS, but I will admit that I was more than ready to stand up by the time I finished late last night. SQUIDMARKS was my favorite, even though it kind of grossed me out. How did Shortz let that through? I mean, I know skid marks can refer to the trail left by tire rubber, but no one really thinks about that definition, do they? You know, I used to try REUNE all the time in Scramble. It was never accepted. Hmmph. I liked this one a lot. The fill was average or slightly below--I like LANK, since it's the holiday season and all--but the theme was clever enough for a Wednesday for me to give the thing two thumbs up. But not way up.

  3. Yeah, SQUIDMARKS was gross. This is the Times, not the Weekly Dig, where this week Brendan Emmett Quigley used "PEEONESPANTS" as fill. I can't remember how he clued it, but if I remember, I'll pick up another one tomorrow and comment again.