Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014, Doug Peterson and Brad Wilber


A challenging Saturday, just the way we like them. In the end, we guessed right on the W in PEGWOOD (7D: Watchmaker's cleaning tool) and WIE (21A: Youngest player to qualify for an L.P.G.A. Tour event) but, having entered hOWL for YOWL (25D: Protest vehemently), and not being familiar with YMHA (25A: Jewish community org.) (It makes sense now - it might be "Young Mens Hebrew Association"), we finished with an error after all. I guess that's a DNF, but it feels different to me than when you finish with actual gaps that you just don't know. I mean, we were able to fix it right away, and maybe, just maybe, if I weren't so quick to hit the "check" button, it's possible that we could have noticed it. But enough about that. It's not important.

We started very slowly in this one, just getting a few gimmies like BISHOP (34A: Piece in a fianchetto opening) :) , ITS (42D: "____ alive!"), and ISNT (22A: Ain't fixed?) (we've seen this a few times, now), but not much else. Frannie finally broke through in the SE, and we worked clockwise from there.

After finishing the NW, we had a hard time understanding ACH (15A: Dieter's beef?) (I had tried "soy" in here at first), until I suggested that maybe "Diet" is a town in Germany, and Frannie went a step farther and realized that it's a German name! ("Now's the time on Sprokets when we dance!") Very nice clue!

Kind of cute that 43A: "Check it out!," in Chihuahua (MIRA) follows 39A: Play with someone else's toy? (DOGSIT). They were giving us a clue, but we didn't realize it! 24A: Lock combinations? (DOS) (hairdos) was another tough one. And what about GOKAPUT (40D: Quit working)? That's some crazy fill right there.

The dreaded "one" makes an appearance in FLIPONESLID (4A: Snap), and I'm actually pretty happy that we didn't get JUKEBOXHERO (16A: Foreigner hit in the musical film "Rock of Ages") (boy I hated that band) until almost the very end.

As I said, we love a challenge on Saturday, and even with the error, we enjoyed the struggle. It's just what a Saturday should be.

- Horace


  1. I'm giving myself a DNF as well for looking up an answer. What can I say? I'm impatient. I'm always impressed by your willingness to just stare at the grid. But before I got to that point, the NW fell for me in less than 2 minutes. Weirdly, after entering BISHOP and HOLE, I got 1D (BATHSHEBA) and the rest was straightforward. Then I couldn't get much except scattered answers (ISNT, IKE, NONE) but the SE corner fell equally easily: EZRAPOUND was the key there. I had PitstOP for 27A (five minutes in a campaign itinerary, maybe), which is much funnier than PHOTOOP. And funnily enough I finished the puzzle with an incorrect letter, and it was the same as yours, except I had a J there, for Jewish, I guess, which is silly given the H stands for Hebrew (Jewish Mens' Hebrew Association?). And, really, I lived less than 10 blocks away from the92nd street Y, probably the best-known example of the YMHA. Ah, well.

    So I looked up POPOV. It was lazy of me, but the rest of the puzzle went quickly after that. And really, I already had the _OPO_. Okay, enough of beating myself up.

    Clues I liked: 57A (It once had many satellites in its orbit), also playing off the aforementioned POPOV. 49A (Something a baton carrier might pick up). 15A (Dieter's beef?) - the hidden capital!

    Answers I liked: SLOVENE - an unusual entry; ACROPOLIS, EZRAPOUND next to RYANONEAL, and OBOISTS (as opposed to the typical OBOE, and the clue is nice as well! I was expecting The Fates, or some Norse equivalent). Very nice Saturday.

  2. 64 mins.
    What, am I the only one that finished this one?!?! That's got to be a first. Of course, ET59 and Jeff haven't weighed in yet. I liked OREGONTRAIL (18A Western way) because Horace's father is a member of the OCTA. The inclusion of 30A Chestnut, say (OLDSAW) was a good one that Frannie must have enjoyed. Challenging, but not impossible. BTW, I guessed correctly on the "W" for the PEGWOOD/WIE cross, also. That saved me from a DNF.