Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014, Tim Croce


The best of the week so far. That's not really saying much, but really, this had some fine clueing, and the animal simile theme is one I haven't seen before. The first themer FATASACOW (20A: Scale-busting) was almost jarringly colloquial, as was WUSS (35A: Wimpy sort), but that's a good thing! Especially after the stale and boring start to the week.

Fun clues for ERIC (11D: Holder of a cabinet position), EMBERS (8A: Ones dying in a fire?), TAILS (21D: Half of all flips), and even stalwart STA (4D: Stop on the tracks: Abbr.) is given a fresh clue. On the other hand, I didn't love LAMES (26A: Shoots in the foot, maybe), and I didn't know what OSAGE (47D: _____ orange) was (it's a tree that grows mostly in Texas). I also have never heard the expression BALDASACOOT (17D: Like a chrome-dome), but I'm assuming others have.

As I said, it's the best so far, but I'm still holding out for better things as we enter "the turn."

- Horace


  1. All right, so what are you implying with that snide comment "but I'm assuming others have"?!?! So, that's the way it's gonna be? (Cue Perot accent for that last question)
    in all seriousness--or at least over half--I didn't love this puzzle at first, but your write-up brought me around a little. I did love the ERIC clue. Now THAT's misdirection worthy of a Wednesday. Nice BASSALE/ LOCALPUB pairing. USAID seems so simple and quaint, but I guess it's an acronym for United States Agency for International Development. Who knew? I further didn't know that Nicoise Salade is named after Nicoise olives, which take their name from an adjective of Nice, France. The olives are distinguished by a certain curing method. Throw in the Osage thing, and this puzzle is full of new information por moi!

  2. Oh, and 10:07. It's been a very quick first half of the week for me.

  3. 13:10
    I, too, liked the hidden capital of "Holder." I don't know about YESLETS (64A "Sure, why not?!"). I'm always happy to be reminded of ELAINE and Carlin (42A), although I'd never heard of that particular album (or is it a routine?). Isn't a coot just a water bird? I hadn't heard that saying. Before getting the theme I had BALDASArOck, which doesn't work for three of the crosses. I thought Horace would mention COGITO, though that was an easy one.

  4. 6:54. I liked the puzzle a good deal, but thought it was too easy for a Wednesday. Funny that your first themer, Horace, was the last I filled in. I just didn't want SNOW for the Monet painting title; even though the clue was all in English, I was holding out for a French word. And ERIC took quite some time to see, so I agree it was the best clue of the day. The puzzle started out great with 1A BASSALE, and ENUF was fun to see in the grid. The middle parts of both east and west are the weakest, especially the west, with three proper names crossing (including the ultra-crosswordese ELIHU) and UGA. Definitely the best of the week to date.

  5. The turn has commenced with a bang. I finished the thing, but it kicked my ass to the tune of 39:48, more than 15 minutes more than the first three days combined. Fantastic puzzle!

  6. I agree that it was great, but I owned it. Felt almost guilty dropping in things like SANS (23A: Comic ____ (typeface)) and NEUE (28A: New York City's ____ Gallerie) without hesitation, but, well, sometimes it goes that way. I can only assume Colum will be somewhere around 0:10:00….