Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014, Todd Gross


We'd like to thank Colum for filling in for us yesterday, and for hosting a lovely New Year's Eve party. Further, we'd like to wish Happy New Year to all our readers. Thanks for checking in, and happy puzzling in 2014!

Now, sadly, we must move on to today's puzzle. We get it, but we don't get why. I knew with certainty there was a rebus at 32A: Robert Frost poem that includes "Good fences make good neighbors" (WALLM) (Mending Wall), but I wasn't sure yet what it would be. Slowly, MACHINESV (17A: Food or drink dispensers) and LITIGATIONP (24D: Future court cases) appeared to fit the same pattern of the first letter of what should have been the first word being put to the end, or, "ending" the second word. To me, this is a terrible, nonsensical theme. It's a visual pun, I guess, but it's not at all funny, and it doesn't make any sense. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

In other news, I liked SKY for 36D: It goes around the world. I don't get RUSSIA for 41D: Don's place, and I've never heard of GROFE (43D: "Grand Canyon Suite" composer).

I will end on an up note, however, with a typical New Year's idea - Here's to tomorrow!

- Horace


  1. 40:44
    I'd never heard of GROFE either, nor did I know ETAPE, but luckily the crosses were doable, but just barely. I'd also never heard of ORSON Scott Card. I'd starred the Frost poem, too, but the first clue I had of the rebus was MACHINESV. The other rebus clues fell quickly and the fill around them didn't take inordinately long. Since I was able to finish the puzzle, though, I liked it just fine. FORONESELFF[ENDING] I though was good, as was 51A Taking liberties (THERULESB[ENDING]). A good quote from Pope FRANCIS, and I enjoyed the mention of LOVECHILD (8D 1968 #1 hit for the Supremes). Finally, I thought that AMATIVE is a good word to have in a puzzle. Oh, I'd also never heard of Bobby DOERR, which is probably not surprising to anyone.

  2. 14:53. I didn't get the rebus until literally the very end, when I looked at THERULESB, and figured it out. I actually really like the theme. It's clever, although it would have been better had there been another clue/answer pair with a way of explaining it. I knew GROFE, although I had GROhE there for a little while. ORSON Scott Card is a favorite sci-fi author of mine (Ender's Game being his best). I liked SHAVERS, MOOCH, and MATTRESS. Shout out to Cece for her help with UNLOOSES, which I had as UNLEASES, which made no sense.

  3. I'll have to read "Ender's Game" based on the endorsement from Colum. Is that where one should start with Mr. Card?

  4. Thanks for your help with this bear. I didn't get the Ending theme until I read your column. I didn't think crosswords were allowed to do that, not without an advisory clue. btw I'm writing this on June 18, 2020! Yes, I'm a little behind on the puzzles.

    1. Better late than never! I'm glad you found us, and that we were able to help. :)