Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014, Tony Orbach



First of all, we both want to thank Colum for doing the reviews for the past week and a half. For the first time in a very long time, we didn't even start the puzzles for several days in a row. It was strange, and perhaps it made us soft, as we were unable to come up with TVAD (56A: Spot, maybe), and not knowing VANUATU (54D: South Pacific archipelago), that V square eluded us.

We split on the theme. Frannie didn't love that the original word or phrase without the EN had no relationship to the clue or answer, but I liked the wackiness in at least a few of them. The first themer, for example, PREPARATIONHEN (23A: Episode title for a cooking show featuring chicken recipes?) was kind of funny, in a gross way. And I enjoyed the mention of the former SNL writer in CANIBEFRANKEN (67A: Request to represent a Minnesota senator's side of a debate?), but yeah, ok, the rest of them weren't that great.

We both liked seeing SCHULTZ (7A: Bumbling sergeant on "Hogan's Heroes"), but TAT is not a 43A: Bit of needlework? as far as we understand tatting, which is traditionally done with spools, not needles. Great clue for SAAB (45A: What a 9-5 worker worked on?), and KNEE (68D: One might be brought up in a brawl) was very nice, but there were a ton of names we didn't know, and I don't love ARENOT and CANTOO. And, if I can be very picky, having STERN and ASTERN in a grid, no matter how they're clued, just seems wrong.

In all, it wasn't a great puzzle to come back to, but at least tomorrow's Monday - we should be able to finish that one...

Thanks again, Colum, for your yeoman's work. We appreciate you raising the bar here at Horace and Frannie, by adding some visual interest every day, and we'll try to keep up the good work. How 'bout we start by adding a photo of a typical scene for us during the past week.

It was a pretty great vacation. Thanks for making it even more relaxing.

- Horace


  1. Untimed. Wow, that's a great view you had there. People in France must be pretty happy today with their emphatic win in group play.

    With respect to the puzzle, I really didn't like it much. The theme was only okay, clever but not particularly funny. I liked PREPARATIONHEN the best as well. I liked HEDONISM, ARTICLE (with a pretty good clue on that one), and ADMINISTER. I had a heck of a time in the NE corner. I couldn't see TAKESAIM for a long time, and I was stuck on TYPEAB which should have been fairly clear (I had "abplus" at first, which isn't even a thing). I also had trouble with TVAD (and even when I put in the V, I had a kitwo moment: t-vad?!). Oh, well. It's good to have the two of you back!

  2. D.N.F. We finished this in about 40 minutes, then spent the next 10 going through different permutations of self-doubt on SHE/a/iREE, IWO/iN, and BEA/eLE, but to no avail. Ironically, I'd put ELEanor in very early on without any crosses, even knowing that it was really supposed to be an alternate spelling. And it wasn't long before I got to ELaNORE. After that it was a brain cramp, as that seemed to become the one square I couldn't see in the end. Alas.

    I thought the theme was fairly obvious. I did like CANIBEFRANKLEN and COENORDINATION was OK. And OK, LETERRIPEN got a bit of a punsicle chuckle. But as has been said, there was no tie between the phrase and the re-phrase and that made the reveal feel a little weak.

    I did like reminiscing about Mongo in Blazing Saddles. It was Anne who corrected my aBA (40A: Court grp.) to NBA! And who doesn't love old Sgt. SCHULTZ?

    Welcome back!

  3. 1:27:51
    Slow and steady.... Most of this puzzle filled in relatively quickly since I figured out the theme early on, but the V was, indeed, elusive in TVAD. I thought that the cross of FAWCETT/PERFECTTEN was a nice touch and the NAAN/SAAB cross was also great. I did NOT like 55D Truing: Var. (ALINING), but loved 37D Bugs, of a sort (VWS). I thought this a fine Sunday. (Note: I haven't given up on the Friday or Saturday offerings as yet. We had many guests this past weekend, so I'll continue to work them.)