Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014, Patrick Berry


Patrick Berry is fast becoming one of our favorite constructors. His grids are almost always clean, meaty without being overly so, chock-full of fun stuff, and what's more … we seem to be right on his wavelength. This one starts out strong with two tricky clues 1A: Attaché feature (ACCENT) (why did this take us so long?!) and 1D: Bread boxes (ATMS) (Frannie nailed this one immediately). We ended not far from there at the intersection of another tricky pair, 23D: Flimsy lock (WISP) (we could only think of the locking kind of lock) and 23A: Not down with anything (WELL) (beautiful).

In the middle, we credit a year of NYT Crossword solving for our laying down OATERS (28A: Many old B films), and off of that (and maybe one other) we got COPACABANA (24D: 1978 disco hit featuring the warning "Don't fall in love"), which really opened up that lower middle section.

So many good clue/answer pairs today. PREACHERS (37A: They deliver on Sunday), PIGEONS (51A: Common gathering in a public square), OCTAVE (50A: La to la, e.g.), CHEATSHEETS (16D: Cribs), THENCEFORTH (14D: Ever since that time), and more! I also have a fondness for the very straightforward answer that is hard to see at first, a good example of which today, at least for us, was ELDERLY (4D: Aged).

A very enjoyable Friday.

- Horace


  1. 29 mins.
    Well, I thought I had a good time! Anyhoo, I agree with the cleanness of this puzzle, and with Horace's assessment of its fun, tricky clue/answers. I also loved 17A Ordered pair? (SIDEDISHES) and 24A Deadeye (CRACKSHOT) (could this be a pair with OATERS, which is immediately below it?). WELL was great and I enjoyed the appearance of ONEIDALAKE (25D Body of water belatedly added to the course of the Erie Canal), since Sue and I love the Finger Lakes area. My only write-overs, as ET59 likes to say, were with 9D Unspecific recipe quantity (SPLASH), for which I first had aPincH, and 11D Diploma holder, for short (ALUM), for which I first entered grad. I never heard of Mr. KASDAN, but enjoyed both of the movies mentioned.

  2. This was one of those times when Frannie and I worked on the puzzle side by side. When I couldn't see something (CRACKSHOT, for example) (and yes, it does go well with OATERS), she could, and vice versa. It works best on Fridays and Saturdays, and makes for a fun, quick solve. (That being said, I still expect Colum to come in under twenty minutes!)

  3. Well, I was untimed. Printed it out and worked on it with Hope last night for a bit, then finished this morning. I got the SE pretty quickly starting with OCTAVE. Suspected KASDAN but it took some time to get it because I too was misled with aPincH and grad... The only answer I don't love is MACHOS; even though it is absolutely correct, it's not the way we use it in common parlance, so it felt awkward. Otherwise this is a extremely well constructed puzzle. I also love the strange shape of it. It almost felt like it was on its side.