Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014, Joe DiPietro


On the first pass through this I felt like I entered quite a bit of crosswordese, and that got me off on the wrong foot. ALVA (21A: Edison's middle name), ENLAI (27A: China's Zhou _____), SWAK (31A: Love letters?), ALEE (55A: "Hard ____")… well, ok, that last one was somewhat clued somewhat differently than usual, but you get the idea. It just felt like it was full of the stuff.

I was tricked up, though, by 56: Digs of pigs (PEN), which I thought would be "sty." They all seemed like good ending letters… but no.

My mood changed, however, when I realized that the theme would be the classic Irish name joke. I actually thought of PATTYOFURNITURE (63A: Irish woodworker?), and predicted the theme before we had any of them figured out. I particularly enjoyed ANGIEOGRAM (22A: Irish chemist?), and JEANOTYPING (32A: Irish secretary), but thought WILLOTREES (24A: Irish arborist?) was somewhat weak. And what is a COREYOGRAPH (47A: Irish algebra teacher?)? Oh…. wait… choreograph. Nevermind.

18A: Quarter back, possibly (CHANGE) was beautifully clued, and I liked being able to put in PAPERLACE (107A: Band with the 1974 #1 hit "The Night Chicago Died") without crosses. Yes, I'll admit it, that was my favorite song at one point, and I think I still know all the words.

It wasn't a great Sunday, but it wasn't all bad.

- Horace


  1. Untimed. I really really really disliked this puzzle. Felt it was a load of very poor fill, with a less than interesting theme. ANGIEOGRAM and MELOYELLOW were the only two I thought were amusing. Here is a short list of less than stellar answers: TALI, CARNAP (????), EPISC, SWAK, TOPEE (????), ARUM crossed with POME, NAMER, OREL and OREM in the same puzzle, ITE, SAREE, OCHRE (not the expected spelling), TENKS crossed with TANKS. And then we get to PORN. Blah. I don't want to see that in the puzzle on a Sunday morning.

    There were some nice answers (I like APNEA, CHANGE, OZARKS, TREATY), but overall I was just slogging through. Blah blah blah.

  2. Well, good. I'm glad you said it. I, too, found the fill abhorrent, but I did enjoy the theme, so I thought I'd cut it a little slack for once. But yeah… not great.

  3. 61:08
    I never heard of a CARNAP, so I'm with Colum on that one and on many others that he mentioned. I did enjoy PORN, though, so we part company there. I also, speaking of racy fill, liked the answer for 72D Prepare the first course, say, although I won't mention it further here. TENKS had me stumped for way too long; I mean, we just ran one! Although in my defense, I really don't consider that to be "distance." ECOLI is part of my business, so that was no problem, but I was thinking of Spanish words with 100D Bonito relatives (TUNAS), not the fish. I liked the cluing for AFRO and 116A Yard filler, maybe (ALE) was also great. Finally, 81A Lie (STORY) tripped me up.