Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014, Elizabeth C. Gorski



Totally missed the theme today while solving. Well, we realized that all the circles had Os in them, and I thought maybe it was supposed to be like Easter Eggs, but it's so much more than that. The cirlces and Os are wheels, and they sit symmetrically underneath car models. One is even contained within a car (GEO (99A: Former Chevrolet division)), but I think that was mere coincidence. It's a little weird, because there are other Os all over the place, and sometimes they're also under the car name (see - CHARGER), but I guess it's kind of cool. Now that I see it.

Even knowing the theme, the puzzle didn't wow us. It took us forever to finish, and it never felt terribly fun. Even the inclusion of perhaps my favorite album ever ELLA (18A: "____ and Louis," 1956 jazz album) couldn't save it.

We foundered in the East, in the morass of proper names. CAVUTO (44D: Neil of Fox News), OLIN (45D: Ken of "Brothers & Sisters"), KHLOE (47D: One of the Kardashians) (why?), and SAENS (48D: Composer Camille Saint-____) (I knew this one) - that's a lot all in one place. And STOPCOCKS (43A: Pipe valves) isn't exactly a gimme!

There were nice clues for - CRIERS (7D: Ones who are the talk of the town?), CALDER (33A: Mobile home seeker?) (wow, really?), ALOHA (52A: Greeting that includes a Spanish greeting in reverse?) (convoluted, but still cool), and EMBARGO (58A: Complete shutout?). And there was some fancy fill like LISLE, ANDRONICUS, SNOWYEGRET, but there were also words like SCAB, PORE, EARTAG, and STOOL, which are, as Franny says, "Icky." And WORDAGE? Come on.

Let's call it a mixed bag, or, since it's Easter, a mixed basket.

- Horace


  1. Hey all! I'm back. And not to the best of puzzles either. I agree with you Horace, there were a few things to enjoy and a lot not to. I liked the theme idea (which also took me a while to get: I finally figured it out when I put MUSTANGSALLY in, even though it was the third theme clue I got). I liked BARBEROFSEVILLE crossing SAENS. I'm not too sure about HORNSONATA: I mean I know there are probably a large number of them, but I couldn't name one. (A quick Wikipedia search reveals one by Beethoven, one by Franz Danzi, and one by Hindemith, along with several others by composers I've not heard of.) And far too many abbrevs. and ITON or ITOF or AMIND or ALIE. Apparently OPTIMACARD is an American Express offering, so I'm not surprised it's not something I've heard of on its own. And finally: 119A "Covenant keepers": ARKS. No. It's just wrong. There isn't more than one Ark of the Covenant. It's like saying "The Lincoln Memorials." It don't work!

  2. Hi! Welcome back! I look forward to hearing all about the trip over a bottle of chianti. Let's set that up.

    And since you might not think to check on it on your own, you should go back two weeks to your last comment before leaving. You got a personal response from the constructor!

    1. I actually did see that, but did not have the patience to respond on an iPhone. Is he the young constructor? I thought his answer was pretty reasonable. I still don't like quad stacks.

    2. I don't know his age, but I know you're thinking of David Steinberg. And yes, I agree about his answer - and about responding without a full keyboard. I'm using my iPad Mini right now, and even that is sometimes too much.

  3. 47:05
    I crushed this one. Did you notice that masterCARD fit in where OPTIMACARD belonged? I enjoyed the theme, my favorite of which was MUSTANGSALLY since that was a nickname that a neighbor had for my grandmother. My favorite clue/answer (for obvious reasons) was 102A Like equinoxes (BIANNUAL), which I got right away.