Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Ruth B. Margolin


1A: Fare in "blankets" (PIGS) took me a couple crosses, but when it went in I smiled, and had a good feeling about the puzzle from then on. I like the related clues, like 15A: Bahamas cruise stop (NASSAU) and 16A: South American cruise stop, for short (RIO) (even though neither came to mind immediately), and 42D: It carries a shell (SNAIL) and 51A: Shell carries it (GAS). Those are nice touches.

The theme is, I guess, the addition of "IST" to various phrases. Is "Cub Reporter" a thing? A young reporter? A reporter who only reports on the Cub Scouts?... The other three are all good, especially POMPOUSASSIST (26A: Help from a jerk?). That, and STARKISTNAKED (44A: Canned tuna without mayo?) are both nicely risqué.

I liked a lot about this one. The Orwell reference - EURASIA (10D: "1984" superstate), CALYPSO (41D: Harry Belafonte genre), GUEVARA (24D: Compadre of Castro), SPORK (29D: Picnic utensil) (!), and more. Sure, there are a few ORA, ESE, CAF, and EEL (!!) -type clues, but not too many, and the overall good vibe outweighed them. At least for this reviewer.

A fine Wednesday.

- Horace


  1. 10:21
    I agree with the two risque answers. Very nice, indeed. Also, in addition to the Horace shout-outs, I liked CARBONS (something I, myself, used into the early 1990s) as well as the mention of the POPE-mobile and ATTILA (related?). I also thought that the clue for SEANCE (62A Holding-hands-in-the-dark event) was clever and I liked the ASPIRE/ASCENTS crossing.

  2. 6:03. Yes, this puzzle went very nicely. A cub reporter is a rookie reporter, definitely an accepted term. And SLEEPERCELLISTS is delightful. I really only disliked ORSO crossed with ORA. That's a problem for such a well constructed grid otherwise. Two extra ten-letter answers (MAINSTREET and CREDITRISK), both very good. I had no idea who "Big ANG" is (I'm guessing it's short for Angela). But definitely a thumbs up for attempting to be in the 21st century with the emoticon and TAT. I'm pleased.