Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014, Michael Hawkins


A very nice start to the week! I enjoyed the "phone" theme, and the non-theme answers were full of good stuff! SYMBIOSIS (5D: Relationship between barnacles and whales, e.g.) (I had "symbiotic" for a long time), COLOSSEUM (12D: World's largest amphitheater), and DAPPERDAN (38D: Sharply dressed guy) (Frannie liked this one a lot) were all interesting and unusual, and who doesn't love TATERTOTS (36D: Cylindrical alternative to French fries)? And the doubling up of the tens was a little bonus in the NE and SW.

Very little AWFUL fill, and a few that were, like, OHWOW. It seems I'll never remember that SAGO is a 44D: Kind of palm, and RARED (6D: Stood on hind legs, with "up") taught me that I've been wrong thinking it's "reared" all this time. Are they related? My dictionary is not at hand. Perhaps I'll comment on this again later, or maybe someone will look it up for me.

In short, I loved it.

- Horace


  1. 5:17. Thank goodness, what a nice change from yesterday. I agree: this one has a very nice feel to it. A bit heavy on the black squares, but some beautiful long answers including SYMBIOSIS, ICEBRIDGE next to COLOSSEUM, TATERTOTS next to CHINASHOP (with a very nice clue). And those two parallel nine-letter answers cross two theme answers each. Well crafted. So I guess in this case I forgive the large number of 3-letter answers. I also had RITSY with TSU up until I didn't get the happy "finished" sign. The latter is acceptable, the former not so much...

  2. 8:01
    "Reared" is proper; RARED is pretty obscure. I liked seeing Ken KESEY in there; he was pretty OFFTHEHOOK. I didn't star anything as particularly bad. I guess the best three-letter entry was 67A Hooey (ROT), though Horace probably liked GIL better (49A Gunderson on "The Simpsons."

  3. Oh, right… nine-letters. Sorry, I was rushing to get this one done.

    And yeah, I liked Gil, but I didn't think of it immediately. Poor ol' Gil.