Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014, Peter A. Collins

Musical Interpretation

Here I am giving Horace (and of course, you, our dedicated readers :) a treat for his birthday by writing up today's puzzle. Ever since I started the puzzle this morning, a phrase has been rattling around in my head: "regrettable gettables." This puzzle seemed like a festival of abbreviations, word parts, and product names that were easy to get, but not fun, although NYTOL amuses me. To wit:

Abbreviations and Partials:
11A. Abbr. at the top of an email (BCC)
101A. Meatless day in W.W.II: Abbr. (TUE)
113A. Suffix with salt (INE)
1D. Org. (ASSOC)
6D. Suffix with major (ETTE)
9D. Bank ID (ACCTNO) (least favorite)
38D. Info for an airport greeter, for short (ETA)
44D. Prefix with thermal (EXO)
49D. New York arrival of '77 (SST)
50D. BBC std. (GMT)
77D. The "s" in Awacs: Abbr. (SYS)
78D. Dose meas. (TSP)
84D. Graz's land: Abbr. (AUS)

Commercial entities:
35A. Purveyor of the Doublicious sandwich (KFC)
55A. Dr Pepper alternative (MRPIBB)
105A. Some lawn mowers (TOROS)
4D. Some versions of Windows (NTS)
18D. Competitor of ZzzQuil (NYTOL)
74D. Brand of pickles (VLASIC)

On the upside, the theme was fun,. Who doesn't love a Wacky Wordy when she can get one? My favorite was NOOMDAB (BADMOON rising) 90D. 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival hit?, but LOATEENAGERVE was also nice, and the last one we got. It looks really weird in the middle of the puzzle there.

Also sprinkled in were a few clever clue and answer pairs. Horace mentioned in particular 93D. Rubber from Arabia? (ALADDIN). It took me a minute to get it - not the kind of rubber I was thinking of. Which reminds me to note that there's not much Huyguens material here, except maybe 107D. Longing looks (LEERS).

Despite the less entertaining parts of the puzzle, overall it's nothing to SNOOK at.



  1. Unitmed, but seemed to take a little longer than the typical Sunday. I liked R-O-C-K [around] THECLOCK the best myself. I too starred ALADDIN as a very nice clue. Too bad it had to cross with ILLER, a common dislike of mine. Questionable question marks also show up. Does 20A "Now and again?" (ans: TWICE) need a question mark? How about "Runners in the cold?" (125A, ans: NOSES). I really don't think 14A "Something passed between the legs?" needed the question mark (ans: BATON, which BTW I put in errOr initially, but realized it was probably not right when I came across 57D: Muff a grounder). I liked EMPIRICIST very much, and EDITORIALS as well (A clue that by the standard of the other three, ought to have had a question mark, but didn't). So over all, I liked the puzzle.

  2. I really wanted "Something passed between the legs" to be "kidney stone," but alas, it wasn't to be. I was more enthusiastic about this one than our fearless blogger. A Sunday is big enough that I don't really notice a handful of abbreviations, and the theme was very enjoyable. I loved all of them! "Purveyor of the Doublicious sandwich" was by far the worst thing in this puzzle. Way too specific. How many much better clues for KFC can you think of? Answer: a lot. The mention of KFC makes me think, for some reason, about the recent Taco Bell ad campaign in which a passel of dudes named Ronald McDonald tout the TB breakfast fare. Let me announce right now--just so you don't have to speculate-- I will never eat or order breakfast at Taco Bell. One of your maligned abbrs was a delightful and intriguing bit of trivia: "Meatless day in W.W. II" What's up with that? Was the consumption of meat banned on Tuesdays during "The Big One"? Was the sale of it prohibited? I'd like to know the story. Maybe I'll have to Ask Amy, or something. Finally, I have to give a shout-out to "Medium for love letters." Wasn't that just the most charming clue and answer? That's it. I'd say goodbye in Latvian, but I only know hello in the language. So, sveiks! (Maybe it works like "aloha")

  3. Funny about SVEIKS! You know, Frannie and I just saw the ad you mention yesterday and we were both horrified. First of all, breakfast at Taco Bell? And furthermore, any ad that is that mean-spirited has got to backfire, doesn't it? Didn't Coke get into trouble a few years ago with a negative campaign? And then they went all lovey dovey? Anyway, yeah, Meatless Tuesday is, indeed, intriguing. And yeah, tree bark for initials is very nice.

  4. Also, I had similar thoughts about "Something passed between the legs." I'm a little surprised, actually, that that clue was allowed to go to print. And that was BATON wasn't it? Seems a little weak, if you ask me.

  5. 40:36
    Seemed easy for a Sunday, but I, too, loved the theme. I starred LOATEENAGERVE as being particularly good. I also starred 69A OOld mattress stuffing (BEDSTRAW) because it sounds very uncomfortable, and 99A Mideast V.I.P. (AMIR) because I prefer emir. NOSES was gross, but clever, and I fondly recalled Sue's misspelling of CAULK (12D Crack filler) in some e-mails awhile back. BARK was brilliantly clued. Finally, I don't consider LEERS to be "longing looks." Doesn't that sound more innocent than a leer?