Sunday, June 1, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014, Andrea Carla Michaels


Pretty straightforward Monday puzzle. Simple, but fine, theme of two-word phrases that start with S and A (ESSAY (66A: Kind of test … or a phonetic hint to 17-, 25-, 36-, 47- and 57-Across)). Amusingly, frequent commenter ET59 gets his wish answered today with one of the themers, SMARTALECK (57A: Wisenheimer) (nice clue). How does Shortz sleep at night running this and "SMARTALEC" two days apart? Make a choice or use the damn "variant" cop-out. "Put a sticker on it," as Frannie likes to say when a company (or whatever) just puts a ridiculous label on something to avoid a lawsuit. A candy cane, for example, that has the sticker "May contain nuts." (Yes, we have seen this.) That's "putting a sticker on it." "Mideast ruler: variant" is another example.

Not terribly scintillating. IMPEL (5A: Push) is SUPERB (45A: Top-notch), and I enjoyed SNOOZEALARM (25A: Sleep extender), but maybe just because it reminds me of Sunday's AFAREWELLTOALARMS.

Haven't seen SSTS or SOSA in a while. HELI, ATT, ALMA, ATM, USDA, ATRIA, SSE, MPS, … seems like a lot. WAHOO crossing MAGOO, though, that made me smile. Well, the MAGOO part anyway.

It's a Monday. It was over quickly.

- Horace


  1. 5:42, one of my quickest in recent memory. Yes! I loved the SMARTALECK. Had a big asterisk by it. Great point about Shortz. I also had MAGOO marked--how can anybody in our cohort (yes, I'm including you in my cohort) not enjoy seeing that name? Other than that, not much. It doesn't get much duller than SYDNEYAUSTRALIA for 15ers across the middle of a puzzle. Furthermore, how weak are the acrosses in the west central: ATM, NOIDEA, INNO, and ESS?? On the plus side, SHEERAGONY is a nice phrase, and who doesn't like seeing SMUTTY fill. Finally, shouldn't SOSA be banned from crossworddom (or is it crosswordom?)? You know, just on general principle?

  2. 3:29. Although I had to estimate a little as I forgot to restart the timer at one point. Still, zipped right through. Weirdly, she's a V short of a pangram. Not sure why you'd not go that last little step... Anyway, I don't have much to add.

  3. 7:02
    I liked the QUEER/QATAR cross and the "related" ODOULS and SAMUELADAMS. Sure, ET59, let's ban SOSA.