Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014, Brendan Emmett Quigley


Whew! Mr. Quigley can make a very difficult puzzle when he wants to, and we had to put this one down unfinished last night. This morning, we worked on the NE corner together and finally brought it home. The second T of LANOTTE (25D: 1961 Michelangelo Antonioni drama) (didn't he do "Blow Up"? … yes, yes he did, but I've never heard of this one) where it crosses STINE (45A: "A Midsummer Night's Scream" author) was an educated guess, but really, how many other letters could it have been, I guess. BESSEMER (7A: Sir Henry ____, pioneer in steelmaking), STAN (10D: Pollster Greenberg), and CARYN (30A: Figure skater Kadavy) were all unknowns, and we had EXITrAmp for a long time instead of EXITLANE (16A: Getting-off point), which didn't help things. REASON (14D: "The natural organ of truth": C. S. Lewis) (too bad his deserted him …) and ENERGY (13D: Cabinet department) were inferable, but not known. In short, the whole quadrant was very difficult for us. Perhaps you fared better.

Oh, and one last thing about that corner - TEXASTEA (18A: Drink made with tequila, rum, vodka, gin, bourbon, triple sec, sweet-and-sour mix and Coke) sounds dreadful. Does anyone, aside from, obviously, idiotic college kids, drink that?

Oh, wait, I forgot EXEDRA (8D: Semicircular recess in Roman architecture. I'm a Latin student and an architectural photographer, and this word is not in my general vocabulary. Plus, it crosses ONERS (25A: Standouts), which is itself a standout of a certain kind.

Whew! And on the bottom we have such gems as CRUMHORN (58A: Renaissance woodwind), GAFFS (47A: Barbed spears for fishing), and EDDA (49A: Classic work in Old Norse) (Frannie knew this one!, which helped a lot).

Another appropriate anagram of "notes" is "tones," but STENO (6D: Anagram of "notes," appropriately) is also good, and the S is better placed.

A tough puzzle with some rough spots, but overall, we finished, and that's always satisfying.

- Horace


  1. 19:53. I agree, the NE corner was the hardest by far. Fun to get the 15-letter answer off of the W in SNOWDEN and the E of ONERS. Did they hold this puzzle until it became topical, or did BEQ whip this one off in the week since Obama appeared on the show?

    Sure, the 3-letter answers included a number of abbreviations, but the incredible wealth of nice longer answers makes up for it. On the down side, I had no idea who CARYN Kadavy is, or who Sir Henry Bessamer was. On the plus side, I recognized LIEV, TAJ, and SAHL without much difficulty, and was delighted to see GIJOE (enemy of Cobra) in there. Would have been harder if he'd disguised the capital (Cobra's enemy). MATHER took altogether too long for a longtime MA native.


  2. You did this in twenty minutes?! Jesus. Nice work.

    Agree about Mather. Frannie and I kicked ourselves when that became clear.

  3. 67:51
    I didn't do it it twenty minutes. Did anyone notice that "recorder" fit in where CRUMHORN belongs? That didn't help matters down there. I'd never heard of TEXASTEA either, and would probably not drink it. TennesEa fit in there, but I'd not heard of that drink either, though I find that it's made of cherry liqueur, lemon juice and rye. I see no reason to wreck a nice rye in that manner. I thought that 17A Household (MENAGE) was extremely tricky, and INAPET (15A Sulky) is not an expression that is known to me. Lots of tough stuff in here, but it was ultimately doable for me, so Thumbs Up. (I agree it's a shame about C.S. Lewis.)