Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014, James Mulhern


I tore through sections of this like a hot knife through butter, but in other areas I could get no traction at all. LCHAIM (1A: Toast often given with Manischewitz) seemed like an odd gimme for a Friday, but maybe they were hoping we'd think of the bread kind of toast? And off that, LLAMA (1D: Source of very soft wool) seemed obvious, too. HAMMY (3D: Oh-so-dramatic) was entered quickly, though somewhat reluctantly. Even MOTJUSTE (6D: Perfect expression) fell into our francophile wheelhouse.

Over in the NE, I got KIBBLE (7D: Pet food in the form of pellets) off the B in MUMBOJUMBO (18A: Psychobabble, say), RENOIR (8D: "Luncheon of the Boating Party" painter) (it's at the MFA Boston), had the O, but we didn't need it, and MIME (11D: Storyteller who needs no words) seemed blatant. But the cross of KRUGMAN (7A: Nobel-winning economist who wrote "Fuzzy Math") and UTO (9D: ____ - Aztecan) (?) was the last thing we entered, and it was an educated guess. Frannie had heard of DIETRITE (15A: Longtime Tab competitor) (anybody else have "dietcoke" in there for a while?), but I hadn't.

SHEERAGONY (25A: Hell) is great fill that took forever to see, and CATCHACOLD (40A: Pick up something common?) was well-clued. I'm not familiar with KEYTAGS (59A: Accessories purchased just for openers?), and I'm not even sure now what they are. Bottle openers? Is it a regionalism?*

It was a puzzle of mini-themes. The art theme, the constellation theme, the surname theme. I guess it was good, it just felt odd. Some parts very easy, others very hard. What'd you think?

- Horace

* Rex Parker has a photo of KEYTAGS on his blog today, and, ok, I know what they are, but it's not a word I say or think of much.

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