Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014, Jean O'Conor

about 27 minutes

Very distressing. We finished the puzzle in a little under a half an hour, but did not get the "Well Done!" message, so we looked around for typos, etc. This morning, I looked one more time and, unable to find our "error," consulted the blogosphere, where I learned in the comments of one blog that the puzzle required that "PI" be entered where "2" belongs, in SIDE2 (47A: Where to find "Yesterday" on the album "Help!"). I tried it, it worked. Very distressing.

We got the theme and rebus somewhat early, with MAGNUM[PI] (58A: Tom Selleck role) and LIFEOF[PI] (20A: Best seller about shipwreck survivors) in combination with the FULL / CIRCLE entries. We knew both formulas (yes, even I knew them!), but it took awhile before we understood what was meant by RMOVIES (58A: "The Godfather" parts I, II and III, e.g.). R-rated. Blecch. RMONTHS (24A: September through April, in a culinary guideline) (think: oysters) is also meh-worthy.

We liked ARTEMIS (38A: Temple of ____, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) (I knew memorizing those would pay off!), TAXEVADER (4D: Shirker of one's duties?) (cute), BIKINITOP (38D: It wraps around a chest at the beach), ELASTIC (58A: What gives?), HOEDOWNS (8D: Do-si-do whoop-de-dos), SERENADED (9D: Courted with love notes?), and a few others, but it's hard to come away with a good feeling about this one. Maybe it's more the fault of the NYT than of the constructor, but still, that's the way it goes. "Side Pi." Ugh.

- Horace


  1. 18:34. Funny, the PI went in for me in the right place, so 2[PI]R was the correct answer. Maybe they fixed it after you finished it earlier today. I agree the theme feels a little forced, particularly the two "R" answers, which I've never heard used as actual phrases in real life. Otherwise, though, the puzzle is filled with very nice answers. I liked TASMANIA, ARTEMIS, TAXEVADER, and BANISTER. Dislike seeing OLIO, EBAN, AVIA. These are answers from the 1980s NYT crosswords.

  2. Untimed, but, believe it or not, around 1:30 (h:mm, that is) because I could not, for the life of me, get that SE to work itself out. If only PERSEVERE would have come to me sooner, this whole thing would have filled in by around the 1/2-hour mark. I, of course, love the theme. Bring on more math puzzles! Horace, I'm surprised you didn't toss ol' Paddie into the flames like you did with my Day 5 Sudoku grid in ME when the formulae became apparent.