Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014, Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen


Sort of a strange grid pattern today. Side-to-side symmetry and that cross in the middle. I mean, there is a "crossing" theme of sorts, but, oh, wait … maybe it has to do with Holy Week? I thought to myself "that's a little morbid, to have that cross right in the middle like that…" but now I guess it's because of Easter. Well… maybe more because of Good Friday than Easter, but, well… ok. The rebus theme - and this is actually more of a rebus than those multi-letter-in-one-square puzzles that everyone calls rebuses, because this one is a picture puzzle, with certain words going right through other words, and the word "through" being used in the answer - was pretty nice, and had nothing, so far as I could tell, to do with any religion.

Let's look at a few - WENT through THEROOF (23A: With 13-Down, blew one's stack) - nice clue, PAID through THENOSE (24A: With 15-Down, spent way too much money for something) - nice phrase that you don't see in crosswords, and SHOT through THEHEART (43A: With 30-Down, hit dead-on) - this is what would have happened in 33 C.E. if the Romans had had firearms. Too soon?

It was a fairly easy solve, but maybe because Frannie understood the rebus pretty quickly, and then everything except the NW went quite smoothly. It was Frannie, again, who thought of GOON (1A: Mob muscle), because I was completely blanking on that one. Had "GApe" and then "GAWk" before finally ending on GAWP (1D: Stare with an open mouth) thanks to PROWESS (19A: Superior skill). That's a nice word, PROWESS, and I'm going to need more of it before going to the crossword puzzle tournament next year!

Astronomy buffs will certainly enjoy seeing TYCHO (15A: Astronomer ____ Brahe) in the grid, and the same goes for poetry/criticism buffs and TSELIOT (21A: Pioneer in New Criticism). There are a lot of threes, and one sees the seemingly inevitable junk like NES, KAT, SDS, ASA, DRT, and MUS, but even with all that, I still enjoyed the puzzle. I guess I just like a gimmicky puzzle. Is that so wrong?

- Horace


  1. 50:52
    No, that's not wrong; I, too, enjoy a gimmicky puzzle. This one was one of the better ones. I, a self-proclaimed astronomy buff, got TYCHO right away, but the theme eluded me for quite a while. Getting that sooner would have helped immeasurably with my time, but I'll take it. I like the way that SHOT and SOHOT were right on top of one another (43A and 47A). I also starred 3D Simmering (ONLOW) as a clue/answer that was particularly good, and as one that Horace may be familiar with. Also, I'd never heard of 56D "The 5,000 Fingers of ___" (1953 Suess film) (DRT). Is that THE Suess (Dr.)? Anyway, a good, challenging puzzle for a Thursday. The only cross that worried me was AYESHA/OKE, but I surmised correctly on OKE, so it worked out Fine and Dandy.

  2. Yes, that cross was our last letter as well. And I, too, noticed SHOT and SOHOT being so close! I don't know about the DRT film. I've never heard of it either, but yes, I am quite familiar with ONLOW. HA!