Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014, Alex Vratsanos


Today is the last day I will be filling in for Horace and Frannie. It's been a great week and a half, even if it was interrupted by an unexpected hospitalization. I've had a blast commenting on these puzzles, and I hope you (my few loyal readers) have enjoyed my remarks.

This was an outstanding Saturday puzzle, showing how you can have a grid with plenty of interesting long answers (four 12-letters) and not sacrifice really top-notch fill elsewhere. Take heed, o ye quad-stack lovers!

I started out incorrectly with "pis" at 4D: Greek consonants (NUS), immediately guessed 17A: Disappoints (LETSDOWN), and recognized the slyness of 5D: Some twins (BEDS). EDWARDNORTON showed I was on the right track. I didn't figure out that my Greek entry was wrong until much later, when I recognized JOANBAEZ as the singer clued in 1A. I had Neil Young in mind initially, thinking I suppose of his Rust Never Sleeps album. I like Joan much better. And what a great pairing with 15A (INNUENDO)!

34A: Part of many a symphony (SCHERZO) is simply a lovely answer, as is IDIOSYNCRASY. Those two answers alone make the whole puzzle glitter. And there was still room for KATMANDU, GOROGUE, and REDSOX (in a NYT puzzle!). I don't like 16A: Surround with light (ENHALO), and IZE and IVO are very crosswordese, but I'll forgive them given the rest of the grid.

A couple of clues I enjoyed: 42A: Some settlers, before settling (SUERS) is brilliant. And 55D: Group awaiting ones return, for short (IRS) is fun, although I cottoned to it right away.

Thanks for playing along with me, and let's welcome H & F back!

- Colum


  1. 27:19
    First, Jeremy got DENARII out of _EN_R_I. At first I thought he was making it up, but no. He also got us close with cONKOUT with just the ___K_U_. It didn't take too long to figure on JOANBAEZ, so easy to get to ZONKOUT.

    Anne got EDWARDNORTON early on, and I had SCHAEFER ("the one beer to have when you're having more than one!") quickly, so we were on our way and kept going smoothly all the way. Funny, we had a lot harder time seeing ISLAMIST than would seem possible, mostly because we had ROSALeE. But small matter.

    Recently transplanted, we loved seeing the Fenway reference. And of course, FOB!

    Nice job, Colum. I've had many of the same thoughts out these puzzles before reading your posts, even highlighting a majority of the same clues and answers.

  2. DNF
    Well, I had to get on with my life after staring at the NW for a very, very long time. None of it would come in for me for some reason. The rest filled out pretty quickly except for a couple of squares in the SW, but alas, I gave up. And as usual, the ones that I missed were all excellent and somewhat common words: perfect Saturday fill. My favorite misdirectional long-answer: 38A Many a Cape Cod locale (CRANBERRYBOG). This was a great puzzle, so no hard feelings! Good job on the comments, Colum; I've enjoyed them.

  3. 0:43:47

    You nailed this review, Colum. The whole puzzle did "glitter." Lots of chunky fill (SCHERZO, SOJOURN, GOROGUE, KATMANDU, SCHAEFER, etc), lots of amusing, clever clues (the "Dumped/Dumps" and "Multitudes/Multitude" pairs, FOB, GASH, SUERS), and some stuff you probably didn't know (CRONKITE, MONTE, OLEASTER). Really, just what a Saturday ought to be.

  4. Thanks, H! Fun to see your commentary ex post facto.