Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014, Lynn Lempel


I didn't catch the theme until I was done, even after getting ITSABOUTNOTHING (61A: Why this puzzle is like "Seinfeld"?). I was too busy filling in answers to even notice the circles. Now that I'm looking it over, however, I like it just fine. Two nice fifteens running through, and pretty decent theme answers. I even remembered TRINILOPEZ (23A: Singer with the 1963 hit "If I had a Hammer") with only a couple crosses! It's only a V short of a pangram, but I give Ms. Lempel extra credit for not trying to cram one in.

Some nice fill - SQUIRMY (3D: Having ants in one's pants) (fun!), PEZ (5D: Dispenser candy) (also fun), DANUBE (59D: Vienna's river) (always lovely to think about), and LACONIC (46D: Terse) (a nice ten-cent word!). I'm less fond of TINMINE (11D: Source of a metal once used for foil) and SESTETS (12D: Ensembles for six), but they're fine, really. Just a little odd.

It's a decent Monday.

- Horace


  1. 5:46. I felt like I couldn't get traction on this one: a lot of names and unexpectedly complex fill for a Monday. Still, once I got going, I actually liked it a lot. Strangely, I put SESTETS in without thinking, and then had to look at it again to convince myself it shouldn't be SExTETS. The x would have been at the end of the long clue, so it was a possibility, but the plural made it clear. That trio in the NE was problematic (FLAGMAN, TINMINE, and SESTETS), but the opposite trio in the SW was very nice (OLEMISS, RICOTTA, and SPONSOR). I had some RICOTTA in Italy, you know.

    I like the theme a lot, especially the AUGHT just for the sweetness of the archaicism. And all the answers are lovely from a puzzle sense because they cross the words in their answer (TRI[NIL]OPEZ, WURLIT[ZERO]RGANS, L[AUGHT]RACK, and JOH[NADA]MS). Loved LACONIC. Great clue, great answer.

  2. Good point about the theme material running through both parts of each answer, and I completely agree about the SW. Ahh… Italy.

  3. 6:25
    ATIT. Plus it's always excellent to bring math into any puzzle (9D "Solve for x" subj. (ALG)) although both the clue and answer were very Monday-ish. Sue and I just recently toured the vacation home of the purported subject of 40A Welles of "Citizen Kane" (ORSON), so that was also nice. One of my favorites in this puzzle was 67A Hit on the noggin (BEAN).