Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014, Adam G. Perl


I didn't do much of this puzzle, but I had the breakthrough on the theme answers, so here I am, writing the review. Speaking of the theme answers, I liked 'em. Very clever, especially 41A (CIBEFOREEEXCEPT). TIMETIME we get stumped when the answer relates to the literal words in the clue, rather than what the clue seems to mean. This one was a beaut. Another such in the grid today was 1D. Role for Helen Mirren, briefly (QEII). It just looks so awesomely weird in there.

I had a good feeling about this puzzle from the little I did do, but now that I've read every clue and answer, I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up. There were nice clue pairs like 1A. Pound (QUID) and 16A. Part of a pound (CAGE), were a nice pair, so to speak. (I thought I'd better add some Huygens material to the review since there wasn't much in the puzzle.) SITH 21D. Jedi foes and SNIT (23D. Pet) were pretty parallels.

Others I thought were excellent fun include:
17A. Caesarean section? ISAW

61A. One acting on impulse? AXON
68A. Start to do well? NEER - especially awesome because the clue makes it seem like good will come, but it's really the opposite.
5D. Sugar substitute? HON
36D. Pick up spot? NAPE

When I did finally get 41 A, I thought it would help me with 32D, for which I was trying, unsuccessfully, to think of a language, but it didn't. Horace finally completed the center square, and not with Paul Lynde, and the answer was RUR. Our well-informed and slightly nerdy readers might have already known whence robot, but I didn't. I looked it up and here's a slightly edited explanation from the Wikipedia:

R.U.R. is a 1920 science fiction play in the Czech language by Karel Čapek. R.U.R. stands for Rosumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum’s Universal Robots). The English phrase Rossum’s Universal Robots had been used as the subtitle even in the Czech original. It premiered on 25 January 1921 and introduced the word "robot" to the English language and to science fiction as a whole. (

Fun fact in a fun puzzle.



  1. 11:46. Can I say I just loved this puzzle? An excellent theme, well carried out. I wonder if he started with CIBEFOREEEXCEPT and worked from there. It looks so crazy in the puzzle! The SW corner has so many wonderful clues. I too love NEER's cluing. That's great. ELLE and YALE are another pair that are cute together, as are CONGAME and GRIFT. The unfortunate TENAM makes yet another appearance, and the crossword-trivia answers of ELY and ITEN detract, but otherwise, I have no complaints.

  2. I agree that it was a lovely grid. That central fifteen had to be the seed. It was sooo clever and tricky!

  3. Untimed, but around 30 mins after 3 oz. of vodka (before getting on the plane to MN). Although I need to take a DNF since I didn't know the RUR/OTE/UTE crossing (the "UT" was left blank until ET59 clued me in on what a Pac-12 was and the possible three-letter answer. I, like Frannie, was unaware of RUR, too, so those two squares were unsolvable for me. The rest of the grid went fast for a Thursday since I figured out the theme pretty quickly. What, is NEIL deGrasse Tyson going to be showing up in grids regularly now? Also, I've had enough of 26D Actress Charlotte RAE. However, I don't mind, yet, seeing EDASNER or Goldie HAWN. Finally, I didn't know that BETE was pronounced the same as BETTE; I thought that the final "e" was pronounced like a long "a," having never heard it said out loud (I've only seen "BETE NOIRE" in grids).

  4. That UTE was an educated guess on my part, otherwise we would have been in the same boat as you, Huygens. And yes, BETE = BETTE in pronunciation. And Noire = Loire. Does that help? Was it necessary? Probably not. I've not had three ounces of vodka, but I have had a beer and a half and a wine and a half...

  5. If one and a half bloggers drink one and a half wines in an hour and a half, how long does it take one blogger to drink one glass of wine?