Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014, Chris A. McGlothlin


This is a good example of a crossword that contains several answers that we simply did not know, but that was still quite doable thanks to fair crosses. LAHABANA (1D: Caribbean capital, to locals) (oooh... Havana! Was not parsing that correctly), PETERSEN (38D: "CSI" star william), SAMISEN (45A: Musical instrument for a geisha) (ok, maybe somewhere down deep we had heard this one), and LEU (54D: Romanian capital) (Currency. Get's me every time.) were all complete unknowns. And I'm not terribly familiar with NATAL as a 51D: Kind of star, either. But the rest of the grid moved along nicely, and eventually those lacunae were filled in.

Finally! I get something out of having watched all those Dawson's Creek episodes! (BEEK (21A: "Dawson's Creek" star James Van Der ____.)) And I really didn't want VALETED (26A: Parked cars) to be right, but I put it in anyway.

Of the fifteens, the best were probably LETSDOTHISTHING (1A: "No more wasting time!") (excellent) and ICANNOTTELLALIE (59A: Washington report starter). Learning that BANDEDANTEATERS are known as 56A: Numbats, was interesting, too.

Let's see… HOGTIED (8D: Immobilized) was nice - Frannie got that one right away, having once been hogtied at a San Antonio librarians party! - BAREXAM (22D: Practice test?) got a very nice clue. I thought MARACA was a little bit iffy for (43D: One of two in a  rumba). We had "dAncer" for a while. Are maracas really a necessary part of a rumba? Maybe they mean the music for one… but still.

Overall, a decent Friday.

- Horace


  1. 61 mins.
    I starred BANDEDANTEATERS and ICANNOTTELLALIE as being particularly good, too. I thought that TINSEL (7D It hangs around trees) was a little off-season. 29A Fix (NEUTER) gets me every time, and I learned that MULAN has a singing role for Donny Osmond. I never heard of IGOTORIO (37D Classic song that begins "When my baby / When my baby smiles at me"). I had the NIGG-- from crosses for 14D Nitpick, and I was a bit worried until I read the clue, filling in the "LE." After all, Madonna recently had all of that trouble. My time would have been shorter but for the middle west, where I was hung up for a little while.

  2. 30:00. I got held up by the entirely unwarrented placement of modelTS for SILENTS. I mean, yes, it's true that not many Model Ts were made after 1929, but I suspect that was true earlier as well (apparently not after 1927, so I wasn't that far off). So I had much of the outer sections, but the middle took the majority of my time. I like XAXIS for "Bottom line" especially for the way it looks in the puzzle. VALETED is poor, but other than that, I don't have too many complaints. I like LUNGS for breathers as well.