Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014, Lynn Lempel


It's somewhat unusual to have a female-based theme today, but I applaud the variety. (Or am I showing "gender bias" by assuming that men do not get a "set" when they have their hair done?) And the central REDYE (30D: Change back to brunet, say), although not the greatest word, fits well with the theme, even though it is not advertised as being part of it.

I thought the long-ish fill was decent, especially STATELY (38D: Dignified), RASCAL (51D: Mischief-maker), LIMBER (24D: Flexible, as a gymnast), ASPIRE (32D: Have as a goal, with "to"), and DOWSE (5D: Use a divining rod). That last one is a word I just like. Does that really work, or what? Why is that even a thing? Looking for water with a stick… seems so ridiculous.

The theme phrases were all fine, normal things. The compound words and the two-word phrases are even symmetrical, not that that matters. 

Overall, not much to say about it. It's a Monday. It was slightly unusual in its theme. It didn't have any egregiously annoying answers… let's call it a win.

- Horace


  1. 5:08. The puzzle skewed very slightly hard for a Monday. I don't like seeing sections of three-letter words in the NW corner, and there weren't any real long answers, which made for a choppy grid (see all those single black squares in the middle). That being said, there were few groaners (WEEDY, USAUSA), and a number of nice answers (THEIST, ISSUED, PITIED, and the STATELY GEHRIG). I'll call it a win overall.

    Why is it unusual to have a female-based theme?

  2. Because male constructors far outnumber the females, and you just don't see many men doing a theme like this.

  3. 6:34
    I hadn't thought of Deputy DAWG in quite a while, which was fine since it is a marginally amusing cartoon which deserves to be relegated to that status. PRICECUT and WHITEWASH were good fill, as was EXTRADRY and HONEYCOMB. There was much more to like in this puzzle than not.