Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Peter A. Collins


HAPPY2014 to all of Horace and Frances' readers! Colum here, guest-blogging, even as H and F spend the New Year in Albany with me.

This Wednesday puzzle played harder for me than I expected, or was it just that I was completing it at one in the morning, after the champagne and rye? It started with 1A: Frank's partner in the funnies (ERNEST). What is this? I've looked it up and found it on, and I still have never seen it before. And 1D is no simpler. I may have heard of EGBERT, but even Wikipedia does not convince me that the ninth century king of Mercia is the nominal first king of England.

Other answers I was unhappy with: HOARSEN, which I wanted to be cOARSEN, and CAVER, which should just not be in a crossword puzzle ever. On the plus side, I liked PAULINA, wife of Ric Ocasek, and thus a nice Boston connection, DONHO, MADMEN, CHIMERA, and AUSTERE. That last answer took some time for me to see.

The central answer should have been much more obvious to me, and I think it's well managed for the most part, except for 24D: Achieved through difficulty (HARD1), which doesn't seem precisely correct. So I guess I don't love this puzzle, but I enjoyed blogging it! You may see my name here again in the future.


  1. I'm commenting on my own post to note that HARD1 works just fine if you replace "one" with "won".

  2. 26 mins.
    Yes, as well as [TWO]-[TOO], [0(zero)]-[OH], [ONE]-[WON] and [FOUR]-[FOR]. The only one that I don't like too well is the OH-0 since the 0 isn't an "O," it's a zero. I thought it a good puzzle, and enjoyed the guest blog. I'd heard of neither Frank and Ernest nor of King Egbert, but everything filled in with crosses just fine. I thought 31A Far sides of ranges (TARGETS) pretty clever and always enjoy a reference to DONHO, though I find that he's too main-land-ized for me now that I'm a Brudda Iz fan. I had TAKEAsIP for the longest time for 6D Sample the hooch (TAKEANIP), and hadn't ever heard of a BUROAK (17A Tree with extra-large acorns). CAVER isn't terrible, is it? But certainly 38D "_____ there yet?" (AREWE) is, indeed, terrible.

  3. This was a terrible puzzle. It is not fair to use numbers in the answers without warning. I'm pretty angry about it actually. What a waste of time.