Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014, Martin Ashwood-Smith


The week so far has been on the easy side, but today we were served a real toughie! That SW/S area was a killer! I don't know how many times I put ROCKIE (60A: Coors Field player) in and then took it out again. I mean, I knew they played there, but I couldn't make anything work, and who knows, maybe somebody else plays there too? No. Probably not. Also, we had "bible" for TORAH (52A: Text with Numbers) for a long time, which yielded nothing. ABBE (43A: Title for Liszt) was very tricky. ION (59A: Bond bit) only came after we had every cross. REHEAR (63A: Try again) and OVERT (54A: Patent) were both slow to come. In short, it was a mess down there. We probably spent over half an hour just working on that section. None of it seemed especially unfair, it was just hard, which, actually, is usually pretty fun. Especially when, like today, we eventually get there.

In other areas, we don't know what ATP (26A: Mitochondrion-made material, briefly) is (tried RNA and DNA), nor SSGT (10D: Squad cmdr.). I am guessing that Colum can explain the first, and Huygens the second. And speaking of Huygens, I'm sure he will enjoy XXX (62A: Really dirty).

Mr. Ashwood-Smith went easy on us in one way today, however, by only going with the one central quad-stack. Frannie got NATIONALANTHEMS (40A: Many of them play at the Olympics) (very nice, and timely!) first, and then we picked away at the other three.

In all, a satisfying puzzle, but I'm a little worried about tomorrow.

- Horace


  1. DNF, which should come as no surprise. I hate those quad-stacks! Maybe if I'd simply stared at it longer... ATP is adenosine triphosphate, the molecule that holds energy in the living cell. It is produced by the mitochondria as part of cellular respiration. I think SSGT is staff sergeant. I thought this was going to be easy when I got the NW in about ten seconds, and the NW is usually my hardest section. But I got stuck immediately with HIGH_____. Even after that, I got the bottom part relatively quickly. But there's no entry into the middle quads, and I fell apart thereafter. Oh, well. I like FLAUTIST and TEXASSIZE.

  2. 61:20
    I knew the ATP thing, too, being interested in that sort of thing since I was small, and Staff Sergeant is correct (four stripes in the USAF). I was a Technical Sergeant (five stripes) when I got out. I kept bible in the SW for a long time, too, and had ROoKIE in instead of ROCKIE, which lead to trouble. MALARIAPARASITE was the toughest in the stack for me. I was able to fill NATIONALANTHEMS and TRADITIONALIRAS in pretty fast, which helped quite a bit. We're home now. Some of these puzzles have been sitting on my desktop awaiting me having the time to comment, so I'm off to Sat, Sun, and Monday comments now. I haven't downloaded the Tuesday or Wednesday puzzles yet, but will possibly do them before bed tonight.