Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014, Randolph Ross


We liked the theme just fine, and we also liked that it was quite a bit tougher than a normal Sunday, but some of the crosses seemed unfair, and there were a lot of obscure answers. Where to begin? Let's start with the killer crosses.

LALO (21A: "Le Roi d'Ys" composer) (ahh, yes, Le Roi d'Y…) and AGITA (29A: Gut feeling?) (this one, we recognized, but still…) both crossing DONAT (17D: Robert who played filmdom's Mr. Chips). Tough.

RAMON (37A: San ____, Calif.) crossing MENLO (31D: College in Atherton, Calif.). Inferable, perhaps, but still tough.

And finally, the one that did us in - LAO (73A: Pathet ____ (old revolutionary group) crossing FALA (68D: F.D.R.'s Scottie). A Laotian group from the '70s crossing a dog that died 62 years ago. Hmpf.

Other obscurities - FEHR (57A: Longtime baseball union exec Donald), FARFEL (99A: Small pellets of noodle dough in Jewish cuisine), LANDAU (44A: Vinyl-roofed car), SAMUEL (61A: ____ de Champlain, founder of Quebec), NORA (60A: Romance novelist Roberts), PRAHA (18A: European capital, to natives), HATLO (20A: Jimmy ____, "They'll Do It Every Time" cartoonist), DEKE (83A: Astronaut Slayton), IED (87A: Iraq War danger, for short), ETHAN (98A: Hunt in "Mission: Impossible"), NOTH (118A: Chris who played Mr. Big on "Sex and the City"), TROCHE (6D: Throat soother), NIOBE (24D: Weeper of myth), AAU (40D: Org. with the Sullivan Award for character, leadership and sportsmanship) … and I could go on. It's not that any of those is unfair in and of itself, but so many? I've only done a few of the Maleska-era puzzles, but this had that kind of a feel. Like they're just cramming things in because they can - because Hey, it's a real thing! It's fair!

Well, ok, it's fair, then, but it isn't fun.

Least favorite clue - 85A: Email virus, power outage, etc. (WOES).
Best clue - 48A: Butler's quarters? (TARA).


- Horace


  1. Donald FEHR should *not* be obscure. To my mind, he has done more to harm the sport than any other person in the history of the MLB. He was the Players Union president who was against everything from drug testing to salary caps. LALO may be an obscure composer, but that's a pretty common crossword puzzle name, if you ask me.

    But yes, there was plenty that was obscure to us as well. DNF.

  2. This was much tougher than a usual Sunday offering, taking me almost two hours to finish with many write-overs. I didn't know FEHR, and still wouldn't if I saw it in a puzzle tomorrow, but I knew DEKE and LALO right off the bat. The most difficult part of the puzzle by far, taking an hour of the two, was the SE. No good, but it was finished successfully after a breakthrough following a nice kayak ride last night. Good theme, too.