Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014, Mary Lou Guizzo



A pleasant enough Sunday puzzle. All the answers along the outer edge were preceded by an understood "double." I'm not quite sure how the title corresponds to that fact, but perhaps it's something clever that I'm missing. The revealer, though, is clearer - DOUBLEEDGED (70A: Like some swords … or a hint to this puzzle's theme).

Before I got the theme, I tried "sawed off" for 1A: Like many shotguns ((double)BARRELED). How cool would that have been? (By the way, I am loath to give up the double letter in words like "barrelled," but I know it is changing. At least the good ol' New Yorker is still with me! And speaking of the New Yorker, I liked the reference to 38A: "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for ____" (1985 best seller) (AHAT), by contributing writer Oliver Sacks.) Another nice clue was 53A: Water checker? (DAM).

Did you wonder, like we did, about the RAMOS 21A: ____ gin fizz? Well, it appears to be a southern thing, so I was all ready to use that as an excuse for not knowing it, but it was invented in 1888, in New Orleans, so… that's kind of a long time ago. Another reason that I might not have heard of it is because it sounds kind of gross. Gin, lemon juice, lime juice (I know, sounds good so far, right?), egg white, sugar, cream, orange flower water, and soda water. It was, apparently, a favorite of Huey Long.

GELD (47A: Neuter) was a good one, but the other two on that line (EAP and CESTA) are less exciting. And it's similar, I think, to the "PLACENAME" answer yesterday, but somehow I like TITLEROLES (79A: Thelma and Louise, e.g.) much better. Maybe I just liked this puzzle better, so I was in a better mood by the time I hit it. That, maybe, and the fact that it's followed by the similarly clued BETTES (82A: Davis and Midler). We enjoy touches like that.

Finally, some very nice fill in here - CLEARTHEAIR (105A: Dispel differences), ELONGATE (45A: Stretch out), BOOLEAN (112A: Kind of algebra), HASBEENS (39D: Dimmed stars?), and others.

Nice Sunday.

- Horace


  1. Took me about 20 minutes. I had the answers for 1A, 6A, 41D and 1D before I figured out the theme. I think it was 14A that tipped me over, because I knew it should have been (double)HEADER, and was perplexed as to what the answer would be. Twin bill? I even considered what games might be played by people standing back to back. When HEADER became unavoidable, I looked back at the other answers and figured it out. I particularly like (double)BASSOON and (double)HELIX. I agree with you about TITLEROLES: these kinds of clues and answers are popping up more frequently; I guess you could call them meta-clues. It has to be done right.

    I guess a "sign-up" is an ENROLLEE (note the dash), but I'm not fond of it. I really don't like ONEC. And having IRES and IRATE in the same puzzle seems lazy. I did like LIEDER crossing with ESCALE, and OBLADI is a nice reminder of one of my favorite bands. Overall a positive puzzle which went pretty smoothly. Too bad Huygens isn't here to comment on TEAT.

  2. 52:48
    Here I am. I had the whole top of the puzzle filled in in 7 minutes, and the only corner that gave me trouble was the SW. ONEC was troubling. I wished for CNOTE very hard, but I just couldn't find that extra space down there. I didn't even figure out the theme until [double]DECKER, which was my final theme fill! I liked DEBUTALBUM (60A The Who's "My Generation," e.g.), and starred 58D Formatting feature on a typewriter (TABSET), which I thought was clever. Also, I starred 104D Raucous bird (MAGPIE) because it reminded me of my Saturday afternoon hot tubs. It's amazing that TEAT is the only blue fill in such a large puzzle. What, neither of you two mention SIENA or NIENTE?

    1. Darn! And I was in Siena just recently, too!