Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014, Brandon Hensley


Natick, thy new name is CERS (56D: Reacts fearfully). What are we missing here? What does that mean? And furthermore, in what way are CARDS (58A: Some runners)? Thinking of Keats, we tried "pards" ("Not charioted by Bacchus and his 'pards…"), but no.

I think it must be very difficult to position nine rebus squares in a specific pattern, such as a spaceship, and then run a related phrase all across the top of the puzzle. It is done pretty well here, but I just can't get over that crossing.

OK. I looked at another blog because I knew we just had to be missing something, and we were. The spaceship is, apparently, abducting a [COW], giving "cowards" and "cowers." What the?!? Aliens abduct cows? And 1A said nine squares would be involved - well… they are all that's involved in the spaceship, but jesus, I mean, how is the cow connected? It's in the middle of a crooked line. And why oh why does the program accept some rebus squares with [ET], and then another rebus square with just a C? All or nothing at all, guys.

I could rant on and on, but I did want to say that today had the best clue for OMOO (20D: Polynesian term for an island hopper) that I've ever seen.

It's a well done puzzle, but I am not aware of cow abductions, and the puzzle was accepted with a C in it instead of a COW.


- Horace


  1. 48:24
    Although, I suppose it's technically a DNF since I didn't enter [COW] in there for that terrible cross. I, too, wondered how CERS related to "reacts fearfully" and how CARDS were "some runners," and, now, why Across Lite congratulated me on filling in a "C." I suppose it's clever, but after I'd filled in the nine [ET] squares I figured that the rebus fill was finished. I thought that 27A Not believe in spirits? (TE[ET}OTAL) was a good clue and that it didn't need the "?" in there. Not that I'm for teetotaling. And I agree with Horace that the OMOO clue was the best yet for that bit of crosswordese. Finally, even though I love them, PRISMS (22A Some glass paperweights) gave me trouble right up until the final cross.

  2. Yeah, well. 18:00 or so, not including the aforementioned C/COW square. I'm going to just go ahead and agree with everything you guys said about the theme. Other than that, I thought the puzzle was really well done. [ET]ICK[ET] was very nice, as was TE[ET]OTAL, although I've never really heard it as a verb like that in any kind of practice. The stacks of three nines in the NE and SW were all excellent words, and AXL was a cool crossing. My brother and his wife would like VIOLA, and the clue.

    1. I don't know that I've ever heard "teetotal" as a verb either, other than my own usage. Isn't it usually used as "teetotaler?" I'm generally against the whole idea, except, of course, where it's Absolut-ly necessary.