Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday, July 13, 2014, Tom McCoy


(The circled letters, when read clockwise, will reveal a quote from Gertrude Stein.)

After seeing those two announcements, I entered AROSEIS immediately into the circled letters. It was the first thing I put in the grid. Other things that went in with just a cross or two and without a second thought were IYAMWHATIYAM (38A: Declaration from Popeye), ITAINTOVERTILITSOVER (72A: Famous Yogiism), and HATERSGONNAHATE (57A: Words dismissive of detractors), all of which felt too easy, and none of which were especially fun or welcome. I mean... I like Popeye references, and I like Gertrude Stein, but when there are so many of these ITISWHATITIS (105A: Expression of resignation) all together, they just seem stupider and stupider and, well, HATERSGONNAHATE. I didn't enjoy it.

In addition to my negative reaction to the theme, I also found a few of the clues to be a little off. 12A: Lives (ABIDES), 29A: Workman's aid (VAN) (yeah, I get it, but really?), 181A: Record stat (RPM) ("stat?" really?), and the lame "Follower of lop" clues. Hated it. ADDER, LILTER, EEW, EER, RETROD, REHEAR... ugh.

I did, however, enjoy the pairing of 28A: Mercury, but not Earth (GOD), and 7D: Mercury or Earth (ORB) (even though "ORB" is a little lame by itself), and 104A: Top choice (BLOUSE) was good.

I didn't love it. Now it's time for the World Cup Final. See you tomorrow.

- Horace


  1. I am with you. This puzzle felt like a slog (as compared to the WC final, but more on that in a bit). I agree with you about ADDER - that is a lame-ass clue, and the pair of RE- answers was poor also. So many 3-letter answers! And 125A: Least plausible... LAMEST?! I just don't know. And we haven't even got to 127A: Filler of la mer (EAU). That's painful.

    On the plus side: I liked Top choice (BLOUSE), and 30A: Heavy work (TOME), for which I initially entered TOil. I sort of liked 96D: Work for a folder (ORIGAMI), except the clue didn't quite parse the way it should have. SOLARIUM makes a singular reappearance from either yesterday or Friday (SOLARIA).

    That WC final game was really great. It did not feel like Argentina was solely playing for the penalty kicks, as we've seen some other teams do against Germany. Their defense was excellent, their offense was simply unable to take advantage of several opportunities. The Germans were, as always, solid and precise (How echt Deutsch), lacking someone to brilliantly cut through the dense Argentinean defense, until the second period of extra time. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. 55:30
    As usual, I enjoyed the Sunday puzzle while other bloggers didn't. There's always quite a bit of groan-worthy fill in order to get the job done, but looked past that and all-in-all had a nice time solving. Sure, there's OKRA, ALA, AVG and HAP, but there's also CADRE, CERN, KGB, RAG and ELK alongwith TREVI (unmentioned, surprisingly, by the above two), ERAGON, SEIS, SMUT (one of my faves) and SHUNTS, among others. I argue in favor, but probably, alas, against the tide.

  3. Well, I'm glad you enjoyed it, Huygens.

    And Colum, yes, excellent final game. It was a case where, ultimately, I could find good in either team winning. Argentina played extremely well, but, as you say, they did not capitalize. The Germans, however, had two great chances, and connected on the last one. It really was a beautiful goal. So fast, so well done.

  4. I hated the puzzle, which seemed to get mostly rave reviews from Rex's guest blogger and most of the sycophants who comment over there. Don't see what is so great--or great at all--about the theme. Some words are repeated. Wonderful. What else am I missing. Plus, most of the phrases are either pedestrian, lame, or outright odious. I love Popeye--I mean, the guy inspired me to eat room temperature spinach right out of the can--but I don't even like his line. I know this is ridiculous nitpicking, but his line is "I am what I am." Yes, the strong man uses his own pronunskiation, but something about WRITING it that way bugs me. The Yogi quote bugs me as well, because I think it really ought to be "It ain't over 'TIL it's over." Two things I did like: "Some memory triggers." Ain't that the truth. And "Frequent features of John Constable landscapes." What cool trivia, even though--sadly--I don't believe there are any in "The Hay Wain." And why did Tom McCoy feel the need to write JOHN Constable? Reminds me of a similar inclusion in "Theme from Shaft." No one understands him but his woman. John Shaft. Can ya dig it?

  5. Sounds like we had very similar reactions to this one.