Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014, Elizabeth C. Gorski



One of the first things I put in today was NORELATION (28A: Tyler Perry, to Katy Perry, e.g.), without any crosses. I wasn't sure about it, but I really hoped it was true, and it put me in a really good mood right off the bat. I filled in a fair amount on the first pass, as is often the case on a Sunday, but I got none of the theme answers. It was Frannie who figured out the C/I thing (we don't have the option of entering a ¢ sign in our older version of the NYX app (we greatly disliked the update so we switched back), and we spent a little time trying a [CI] rebus, then taking it out, then putting in all Cs, before we realized that the real problem was that I had entered "itty" instead of ITSY (112D: Wee, informally), and never noticed the error. I guess we filled in the rest of NAPES (121A: Scruffs) (nice) with the downs. In the end, the Cs worked just fine. Lastly, about the theme, I like how the first one, 23A: 2014, for Doublemint gum, doubles up on the "cent" theme with CENTENNIAL.

A lot of the clues made me smile, like the classic 66D: Shampoo instruction (REPEAT) and 85D: Times table? (MASTHEAD), and I like how SHIES is almost an antonym to the normal definition of 69D: Starts. If I weren't headed out to a garden party in a suburb of Utrecht in a few minutes, I might take some time to think of other words that can be antonyms of themselves. In fact, maybe it would be good garden party fodder. These Dutch almost speak English better than we do, maybe they'd like such a word game. We'll see!

Didn't love TSLOT and APISH right up in the NW, but I like the double "craving" clues (JONES (better) and NEED), and the French clues (SANS, AME), and overall, we both liked the puzzle.

- Horace


  1. Untimed. This was a decent Sunday puzzle. I liked the theme (although the answer to 96A was given away by the puzzle's title). I suppose it's nitpicky to point out that in four of the theme answers, the CENT has the same etymology as the coin (or actually is the coin), whereas in the other six, the CENT has a separate etymology. In any case, this is the second puzzle of recent memory where the rebus comes from choosing a different letter in the down than the across to make a symbol. The other one was not done as well (it was the Xing out one).

    A lot of crosswordese stuck in this one, from the TSLOT in 1A to ISM crossing with MPG, EBRO, OBIE, THI (the heat index?), EONS, ABO, IRAE, etc. That being said, there are a lot of pleasing non-theme entries as well, including SPEEDTRAP and LINGERING in the NW, MASTHEAD, HEALTHFOOD, and NORELATION. I also smiled at SNAIL (37A: One with home protection?). Never heard of SMEWS before.

    Nice to see Cosi Fan TUTTE in the puzzle. It's a lovely opera, in Italian, which, coincidentally, was the language spoken in the country I recently visited.

  2. 41:47*
    I got the Puzzled Solved pop-up at 41:47, but have to concede to checking for errors. I had been putting in the ¢ sign for all of the rebus answers and wasn't convinced that the digital grid had accepted it. I did check only words not the entire grid and did have an error in the EBRO/POLA cross at the top.

    Anyway, I knew something was up when PACNPCLL and IENTRIST just had to be right. Although I'm embarrassed at how look it too me to understand the meaning of I/C (i.e. ¢), even in the context of the puzzles title. But the clue for 96A was a give away.

    I also got and liked NORELATION immediately, though did not hesitate putting it in. I also liked the cluing for SNAIL and even the minor twist on IOWE (u). I mean, if you're going to have it, do something different with it. IRIDESCENT is a nice word. I didn't know, but made the obvious guess at CENTENNIAL for Doublemint gum. And I liked the JONES (103D: Craving), JETSET (103A: Fast crowd) cross.

  3. 53:48
    A good puzzle overall, but there were a couple of odd words: SMOOTHEN (101A Sand, maybe) and TRALA (36A Happy refrain). I didn't love those, but most of the puzzle was just fine. The cent sign isn't used much any more. When I was smaller I remember seeing it in the local drug store (Lynch's, before the proliferation of monstrosities such as CVS) and in the small hilltop gas station that also sold penny candy and Miscoe soda. It's even disappeared from the standard QWERTY keyboard, replaced by the ^. CENTIPEDES had a nice clue, even though I answered it right away. BTW, I also was able to enter NORELATION with no crosses.