Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Andrew Reynolds


I love it! I did this last night, very late and very tired, and I didn't fully realize the theme. Today I find that the Ts have won! It was exactly BESTTHREE/OUTOFFIVE (17A: With 56-Across, common format for a wager), and how did he know that the middle T would decide it? What if I had chosen all Hs except that one? Well… I didn't. Did you?

It's a very busy day, and I don't have time to talk about how great this was right now, but I'll add more later tonight. I'll just say again, TAILS won in my puzzle. Did anyone get HEADS??

OK, I'm back now. Colum, our frequent commenter, got all Hs, and HEADS! I think that the "best three out of five" thing is fair enough, especially with a coin toss. If someone says, "Let's flip a coin for it" and then loses, I can imagine them saying "Best two out of three" or, if they lose that, too, "Best three out of five." I don't have any problem with that, I just wondered if it were statistically likely that people would put in some Ts and some Hs, and then end up having the last one settle it, like we did. Also, what if people go with MELT (32D: Diner menu item) instead of MALT, but RILE (28D: Antagonize) instead of RIDE? I suppose they'll eventually choose a T or an H to start 37A: and then they'll make the necessary changes... Hmm... very complex.

I'd take a lot of slop with a malleable puzzle like this, but I don't have to, because there isn't much. I don't love SKAT (5A: Game with a 32-card deck) as fill, but maybe only because I don't know the game. ENOS (13D: Officer on TV's "The Dukes of Hazzard"), on the other hand, might bother some folks, seeing as it's, what? 25 or 30-year-old bad TV trivia, but it's right in my wheelhouse (I knew it immediately since "Hogg" was ruled out by a cross) so I don't mind it a bit. UNPIN and MISDO aren't the absolute greatest, but they're not terribly terrible either, and I kind of like BENDY (60A: Like some straws), because who doesn't say that?

Again, I loved it, but it worked for me. Colum didn't love it, maybe partly because it didn't work for him. Anybody else?

- Horace


  1. 8:45. I got HEADS, I suppose, although I have to admit to missing the rebus and not understanding until I looked at your blog. I put in all Hs, even realizing that Ts could go there as well, very clever. My complaint is, what is this BESTTHREE OUTOFIVE? What does that have to do (specifically) with flipping a coin? On the humorous side, I had a Kitwo moment with MTIDA.

  2. I see that the best three out of five is how many Hs or Ts you put in. Since I put in all Hs, Heads won easily... Still, it's not what I'd call a "common format for a wager". Oh well. Maybe I'm just nitpicking.

  3. I came up tails; I didn't love it. I think 37-Across was literally the last word I penned in, and from the clue and from the other fill, it was obvious what the two choices could be. That just isn't too thrilling. I wish the clue for 37-Across had read just "Winner of the wager in 17-/37-Across." It wouldn't have affected my solve, but it would've been way cooler. Favorite answer/clue was ICING for "It might read 'Happy Birthday.'" Charming.

  4. 20:51
    I came up all heads, but can see where all Ts can go in instead. Enough said on this, since I need to comment on more puzzles now (I've finally caught up, though I still need to do today's (Thursday).