Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014, Lynn Lempel


As I look again now at the revealer (58A: Everybody … or part of the contents of 18-, 25-, 36-, and 50-Across (ONEANDALL)), I actually quite like the theme, but I didn't notice it at all while I was solving.

GONEBALLISTIC (36A: Flown into a rage) and STONEWALLED (50A: Refused to coƶperate) both seem a little odd (the former moreso than the latter) in the past tense, but both are close enough for puzzlement work, and the other two, RHONEVALLEY (25A: Wine-producing area of SE France) (ahh… the Rhone valley…) and PHONECALL (18A: An operator may help place one) (what century are we in, again?) are both perfectly normal.

I thought that GOOSES (28A: Pokes in the rear) were more pinches than pokes, but what do I really know of such things? Another thing I don't know much about is why Ms. Lempel would choose the numbers "33A: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 …, e.g." for a SERIES? Shouldn't that either start with a "0" or result in the answer "sequence?" Well, I guess "series" is fine, but the zero really ought to be there, otherwise the two ones don't make any sense!

Not much junk today, and I enjoyed much of the long stuff. The upper-left, with its ONTHEGO (1D: Always rushing, rushing, rushing), FORASONG (2D: Very inexpensively), and FLEWSOLO (3D: Went without a copilot) is quite nice. And for some reason, I enjoyed seeing CANISTER (40D: Flour or sugar container) in the grid. For a minute I was held up by trying to enter two Ns. Also, I looked up the word (the two-n spelling is given as a variant), and it comes through Latin canistrum (basket) from Greek kanastron (wicker basket), from kanna (reed). Interesting, no?

A fine start to the week.

- Horace


  1. 6:22
    For the most part I agree with Horace regarding the "SERIES" clue and answer. The zero is necessary, and it's a sequence. Maybe we're supposed to notice that it's a series of numbers that is part of the sequence? Also, like Horace, I didn't know about the theme until I was finished filling in the grid. There were a couple of good ones in here, like 2D Very inexpensively (FORASONG) and 46D Cesar who played the Joker (ROMERO). Horace must have known FSTOP right off the bat. ATONAL is a nice word, and I liked LOLLS and LULUS right beside each other.

  2. 4:21. All those Ls! The puzzle was really very well done. Hardly anything I'd cavil at and much to be pleased about. I mean, LOO is an answer! I like ATONAL, as well as IRISHSEA next to CANISTER next to SEPTETS. OUZO is a nice one also. And VIII. I missed the ONE part of the theme, but saw the ALL due to the aforementioned Ls lining up with each other in the NE. I too wanted two Ns in CANISTER, Horace.

  3. Interesting: the Wordplay blog reveals that the clue for SERIES is Will Shortz' replacement for "Sitcom, say," which is what the constructor submitted. I agree with both of you that the clue is just a bit off, but certainly more interesting. And I got it immediately anyway.