Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014, Byron Walden



It was no surprise, given the title, that some of the Down answers would involve a 90-degree turn to the right at the end. What was a surprise, sort of, was that some (CHRISTMASIN/DIXIE (50D: 1982 holiday country hit by Alabama)) would end at a black square, and some (CHIVALRYISD/EAD (8D: Lament about modern men)) would not. Also, there were some long downs (SPIKEDACES (17D: Ray-finned fishes of the Southwest U.S.) that did not involve any right-hand extension at all. Perhaps this was all part of the "tricky!"-ness of the puzzle.

Lots of stuff I didn't love - SORB (79D: Collect on the surface, in chemistry), COXING (98D: Directing a shell) (ok, maybe rowers say that, I don't know. Chemists probably say "sorb," too. I don't.) UPTIME (9D: When computers work), CANONI/ND (13D: Pachelbel classic, familiarly) ("familiarly," it's just "Pachelbel's Canon."), EMU (42A: Lean meat source)… ok, I suppose rowing chemists eat emu, too…

I think "12A: Map feature" is a weak clue for SCALE. It's like "Shirt feature" for "sleeve," or "house feature" for "front door." And Frannie argues that a MOLD is not a 68: Jell-O maker. It's a Jell-O shaper, sure, but maker? Howzabout "Form of Jell-O" instead?

The big question I had was how ELCID's NAME (108D: Spanish hero whose 113-Down is represented enigmatically six times in this puzzle) was represented enigmatically. I had to look to the Crossword Fiend to realize that all the themers started with C.I.D., and turned to make an El. So there you go.

Sorry to be all BICKER and BILE, but if you were to guess that I didn't enjoy this one, I'd have to say, YESINDEED/BRA!

- Horace


  1. Untimed. I too realized that there would be a 90-degree turn from the title, and I too took some time to figure out the ELCID angle (as it were). I got the C.I.D. aspect, but then I wondered how ELCID explained the turn. I got it in the end, in any case. I don't like the fact that there are so many long answers that are not part of the theme. Seems messy somehow.

    I agree with your dislikes. I liked MSPACMAN, ABSCISSA (great!) and PADDEDBRA. I wanted "annual" for YEARLYPHYSICAL, because who says that? And speaking of which, I disliked the clue for IHADAHUNCH ("That's what my Spidey sense told me). Anybody can say the answer, but I've never heard anyone say the clue, and in any case, for Spiderman, it's not a hunch.

    Once again, a Sunday that disappoints.

  2. 1:08:37
    85A What might give you a big head? (AFRO) is a great clue for that answer, and 100A Drag staple (PADDEDBRA) is OK blue fill. TATAS (91A Byes) could have been, had it been clued differently, but alas. I, like Colum, loved both MSPACMAN and ABSCISSA, but I'd add HOTPOCKET to that list. Finally, 78D Eats (GRUB) was a good, tricky clue/answer. Not a bad Sunday.