Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014, Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski


You could have knocked me over with a feather when I put in the R of EZER/REATA (9D: Israeli president Weizman) (22A: Bit of gaucho gear) and got the "Well Done!" message. I guess I shouldn't do these so late at night, just before falling asleep, because I was sure that that second clue said "Bit of Groucho gear," and my first thought was "fake glasses, nose, and mustache?" REATA makes little sense with Groucho, but I see, now, that it does with "gaucho." EZER, I still don't know. In fact, that whole North section seems a little un-Tuesday-ish. RUEDE (5A: Start of some French street names) isn't exactly well known, is it? (But it reminds me of the fun Frannie and I had last winter while putting together a puzzle that was a street map of Paris. We'd endlessly amuse each other by saying "I need a piece… it should say "Rue de... something" on it…" The joke being that about half the streets start with "Rue de.") And ARROZ (15A: Spanish rice) took a little thinking, too. And URIEL (6D: One of the archangels)? I'm not too familiar with him or her…

Like yesterday, there aren't any very long answers. The pairs of sevens in the downs offer a few interesting answers - well, one, PORTICO (11D: Colonnaded entrance), and I suppose YOGAMAT (12D: You might sit cross-legged on one) is fine, but SENHORA (44D: Lady of Brazil). Is that Portuguese? Maybe it gets a pass because of the World Cup. And speaking of that, Brazil should be singing their swan song today at around 5:30pm, EDT. They've had a good run this year, and a hell of a home field streak, but all streaks must end, right?

So, let's see, the theme was fine: BARS (67A: Signs of cell service … or a word that can follow both parts of 18-, 23-, 36-, 52-, and 58-Across), and they managed to squeeze in some interesting fill, like AMIDST (1D: Surrounded by), TRENCH (29A: Detective's coat, informally) (odd clue), and I even like GUFF (62A: Back talk), but there are some areas of the grid where it feels really strained.


- Horace


  1. 14:38
    After a busy weekend of guests, I'll now be catching up on commenting. Not always sure of which Homer is intended, I usually wait for a cross, but with only three letters and the fact that it occurs on a Tuesday, the DOH was filled right in. I wrote RUEDE in right away, having slogged through Proust's tome while noting the emerging street name pattern. ARROZ, however, came more slowly, as did REATA; I had the _EATA, but was reluctant to put in the "R" because I'd previously seen that spelled only as "riata" in puzzles. The only other snag happened with SPORTSNUT as I'd originally filled in SPORTSgUy, but the crosses fixed that right up.

  2. 12:08
    Funny. I was also pleasantly surprised putting in the "R" and getting Well Done. Like Huygens, I was only familiar with the Riata spelling. But I dissent on RUEDE. Seems to me that anyone who's been to a Francophone city would know that comfortably. Same for SENHORA. Yes, it's not nearly as well known as SENORA, but it is consistent with other Portuguese variants from Spanish.

    I'll admit to smiling reading the clue for 3D. That song is right in my adolescent music wheelhouse and, thus, a gimme.

  3. 12:37. I had a heck of a hard time filling in the NE. Took me over three minutes to get the last ten squares. I don't like REATA. Also, I don't like this kind of theme. I do like the paired sevens. Meh indeed.

    And Brazil got seriously rolled.