Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 19, 2014, Samuel A. Donaldson


Frannie and I enjoyed this cute puzzle as we solved it, cutely, side-by-side. Sorry for the grossness, I couldn't resist. But really, doesn't everyone enjoy pig Latin - AMSCRAY (40A: Go away as a speaker of pig Latin might?)? And the classic MAKELIKEA/BANANA/ANDSPLIT (58A: With 63- and 65-Across, go away as a soda jerk might?) always delivers. And BEATIT (18A: Go away as a Michael Jackson impersonator might?)? Also cute.

We got caught up briefly by trying "reb" instead of JAY (20A: Yank rival), but ABBA (9D: Group featured in "Mamma Mia!") quickly righted that. The regular Latin really paid off today, too, as I entered BEWARE (15A: The "cave" of "cave canem") ("Beware of dog") immediately. That might be  the same in regular Italian, too, come to think of it, but I'm not sure.

I don't particularly love KGS (25D: British scale divs.) (isn't kg enough?), and I don't often think of Orel Roberts University (2D: Tulsa sch. with a Prayer Tower (ORU)). And XOX (34D: Worthless tic-tac-toe row) is a bit random. At least they didn't clue it with "Losing line," which has stumped me for much longer in the past. But really, most of those things were filled in before we even read the clues. This was a Tuesday-level puzzle, maybe, but it was a good one. And hey, I can't forget to mention DARCY (27D: "Pride and Prejudice" protagonist)! That automatically shoots the puzzle up in Frannie's estimation, at least. (And mine, really. It's a great book.)


- Horace


  1. 16:50
    This seemed like a Wednesday level to me. I didn't immediately know BEWARE, and RATEDX (12D Hard-core) had me stumped for a bit, oddly. But is ARISTO (13D British upper-cruster, for short) allowed? Anyway, I didn't mind KGS: that seems right, and I did like the theme quite a bit. There were a good number of Xs in there, which is always nice. ASTRAL is a nice word, but the clue - 9A Like the stars - is a little lame. All-in-all, a good puzzle.

  2. 9:50. It was a fine puzzle with 8 theme answers, symmetrically placed. The fact that the last three are tied together and none of the other are is balanced by the excellent phrase the last three give. I didn't realize that 63A was part of it at first, which seemed like a problem when I had MAKELIKEA/eND----- (thought eST for PEI time zone). That A at the end of 56A needed a consonant at the start of the next word... Anyhoo, I had a hard time in the NW, where nothing came easily. SOLEA? ORU? And there were an awful lot of partials: ITD, ANO, INAN, and ASOU. Plus some obscure name dropping like TUBB, KATZ. Okay, so I guess I still think the theme balances out the less than desirable fill.