Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday, June 1, 2014, Tom McCoy



I loved this theme. Many were hilarious, but the central AFAREWELLTOALARMS (66A: Dream for late sleepers?) might be the best. The other literary one, OFMALICEANDMEN (118A: Dissertation on people's inherent spitefulness?), though, was also excellent. Very nicely done theme. And isn't that what Sunday is all about? There are, what, seven of these? That doesn't seem like a whole hell of a lot, but I guess it seems like enough.

So, once the theme is good on Sunday, does much else matter? I guess anything more is gravy, right? And, well, there is some today. Gravy, that is. I enjoyed SMATTERING (57A: Soup├žon) and its clue. As I did AMNESIAC and 4D: Unlikely memoirist. And who doesn't love an Ogden Nash reference? "2D: "The ostrich roams the great ____. / Its mouth is wide, its neck is narra": Ogden Nash" (SAHARA).

PUSSYFOOT (13D: Not be bold) - also good. LIMINAL (15D: In-between) - very nice. OLEANDER (growing outside her door) (91D: Evergreen shrub) - lovely. LONGPANTS (81D: Trousers) - love it.

I guess I liked it. You?

- Horace


  1. Untimed. I liked the theme, but not the carrying out of it. After all, we have two answers that adjust famous book titles, a couple that take well-known phrases and adjust them, and then we have "circus tent." Circus tent? That just seems odd. My favorite was IDEALSOFMARCH.

    Other than the theme, we have some good long answers (that you mention), and some meh short fill. WINEY is poor, as is ANELE, NYALA, PULLER, UNIATE. I didn't connect ANOMIE with the idea of "social breakdown", although looking it up on the interwebz, I see that is in fact it's meaning.

    Other than that, there's some fine cluing which I enjoyed, such as 124A: some cheaters have them: TRYSTS, and 36D: One who might stick his tongue out at you?: IGUANA, although that's a clear case of an unnecessary question mark.

    Mixed bag for me.

  2. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Played a little harder than a usual Sunday for me, although I didn't time it. Best two themers were IDEALSOFMARCH and AFAREWELLTOALARMS. Horace mentioned all of the other clues/answers that I had marked. PUSSYFOOT was a particular favorite. Love the Ogden Nash, even though I doubt there are many ostriches roaming the Sahara. The Sahel, certainly, but not the Sahara. Don't see anything wrong with NYALA, PULLER, or UNIATE, even though the last sets up a possible Natick if you don't know LIMINAL. ANELE is classic crosswordese. Now, ITD, VIN, MNO, and BROS I might call very to extremely weak. But, I guess you usually have to put up with a handful of clunkers in a Sunday.

  3. In what world does "A" rhyme with "E" or "T"?

  4. Are those three letters true rhymes or merely sight rhymes? Or is it hard to say since Greek speakers use a different alphabet altogether? Have to admit, I almost wrote in "cee" for that clue.

  5. 60:08
    I'd never heard of a NYALA, so I learned something. What's wrong with a circus tent? That's what the Big Top is, no? I, like Colum, enjoyed TRYSTS, and for short clues I thought that 74A Car antitheft aid, for short (VIN) was tricky. Also, I was unaware that Ludacris dealt in PUNs (93A).