Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014, Alex Vratsanos


I liked this one. It played almost like a themeless, and I'm not sure I ever would have gotten the theme if not for the two-part revealer. Very nice overall, with a few (ok, one more than a few) obscure (at least to me) answers. ARRAU (25D: Pianist Claudio), PHILLIP (48A: Australia's Port ____ Bay), ROBB (47A: Eldest Stark child on "Game of Thrones"), and NHRA (38A: Drag racers' org.), were four I didn't know.

Much of the rest, though, was quite nice. COPPERHEAD (29D: *Anti-Civil War Northerner) sounds somewhat familiar, but I'd never have come up with it without crosses. And in other theme news, did you notice that "mimeOgraPh" fit in perfectly where CARBONCOPY (6D: *Typist's duplicate of old) belonged? I did, and it cost me a little time!

I always like seeing OCHS (3D: Protest singer Phil) in the grids. I know he has a convenient name, but we're also fans. And speaking of things I like, SCALLOP (40D: Bit of surf in surf and turf) (odd clue) doesn't get nearly enough play. In puzzles, or on my plate!

I think it's been a good week, but I've given it short shrift. Again, today, I'm very late with the review, and I feel pressure to just push the "Publish" button. Luckily, for me and for our readers, our faithful commenters have added nicely, as they always do. Thanks, guys!

Now that our brief travels are over, I hope to be able to devote more time to "the turn," and, indeed, to all future puzzles.

- Horace


  1. Unfortunately untimed, but it was definitely less than 10 minutes. The rare downward theme, which had to be used in order to hit the appropriate atomic numbers. The symmetry is also interesting, being across the top right to lower left diagonal. Very nice set of 10-letter themed answers, two with 6-letter elements, two with 4-letter elements. It's prettily done, but the price is those strange sections of three-letter answers in the NW and SE. JEOPARDY next to SQUIRES is a great juxtaposition of Scrabble letters. I knew Claudio ARRAU and ROBB Stark, but Port PHILLIP Bay was a new one for me. IMSAD was a nice 21st century addition. Altogether a fine example of a Wednesday.

    And BTW, is it because you've been away that I've gotten no acknowledgement of my under 4 minutes time on Monday? Looking for some love here.

  2. 23:41
    Congratulations on the Monday time, Colum!
    Anyway, a mimeograph was a precursor of a copying machine, no? It took a very long time for me to put NUTRI in for 41A____-Grain, and how about a shout-out to one of our favorite birds, CLYDE (43A Bonnie's partner)? Is a Christmas-themed answer allowed (RUDOLPH)? And 26D *Medieval device with spikes (IRONMAIDEN) brought back memories of the torture museum in San Diego. I'd never heard of ROBB or PHILLIP, but I know of ARRAU.