Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014, Dan Schoenholz


Welp, we had filled in 187 letters after about twenty minutes, but we didn't get the "Well Done!" confirmation. It was late, and we were tired, and I guess the joke was just such an old one that we didn't think twice about it. This morning, however, fuelled by caffeine, Frannie said to herself "Hey, what's that circle doing there?" and the puzzle was finally done. Whew!

Aside from all that, we enjoyed much of the grid, the old riddle, and the two answers, especially the one I hadn't heard before - ASUNBURNEDPANDA (63A: Answer to another spelling of the riddle). (I really have no idea how we missed that circle last night!)

I had "skin" for BURY (6A: Hide) for a short time, and wondered for a moment whether it was ADyA or ADIA for 52A: 1988 Sarah McLachlan hit. The "civilized man" pair was fun (NEMO & VERNE), but I want to know whether the clue for 54A: Author of the quote "I am not what you call a civilized man" simply refers to the quote by the fictional character, or if Jules Verne, at some other point in his life, made that remark referring to himself.

It seems rather cold to call a "1D: Hostage" a PAWN, but I guess I can't argue with it. The labelling of IMHO as the "2D: Modern 'methinks,'" on the other hand, is perfect. It beautifully captures the off-putting, affected quality of the abbreviation.

That whole NW corner, really started this out well. The clues for METEOR (4D: Luminary in a late-night show?) and ODS (5D: Has more than enough, briefly) were quite nice, and NOME (20A: U.S. city known to some locals as Siqnazuaq) was interesting, even though I guessed it immediately. I'm not sure the rest of the puzzle holds up to that standard (BALLYARD (6D: Home is one corner in it) seems a bit of a stretch, for example), but it's not terrible or anything. EPHEMERA (10D: Time-sensitive items) and JOHANNES (38D: Artist Vermeer) are both solid eight-letter entries. And, as ET59 pointed out in the comments on yesterday's grid (!), the SIDEA/SIDEB (43D: Elvis's "Viva Las Vegas," recordwise) give a nice continuity to the week.

Lastly, didn't I just warn that we would soon see "Downton Abbey" clues? Well, today we have DOWAGERS (40D: Violet Crawley of "Downton Abbey," and others). I don't mind at all, however, because Violet is easily the most entertaining character on the show. Without her, it would hardly be worth tuning in for.

Oh, I almost forgot one of Frannie's favorites, UNO (64D: Start for a Spanish count)! I guess there was plenty to like in here. On to the weekend!

- Horace


  1. 9:36. Very strong puzzle overall. I like that 24D (Box ___) has two answers that work as well, SET and SEAT. I put Monopoly in for 6D, which I like better than BALLYARD, even though I had to scrap it instantly when I put ELLA in. I like the cross of ARDEN and EDEN, two places that share a mythical woodsy quality. AMAJ is okay because of the clue, the marvelous Beethoven 7th. I did not guess NOME instantly, so the NW took some time, even after putting IMHO in (which I also love, BTW). And finally, they made up for miscluing Delmar by putting RPI in.

  2. Geez, I didn't even notice the SET/SEAT entry. I missed so much today...

  3. 19:57
    I filled this puzzle right in because I was able to get the riddle and answers quickly. I starred 42A "I won't miss it" (NOLOSS) because that took longer than it should have to get; 54A VERNE because Frannie can see a nice little blurb on him on her new calendar, but she needs to hurry; METEOR; and 19D Drive drunkenly, say (WEAVE) because it's a nice clue.