Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014, Daniel Raymon


Many of us enjoyed SCALENE (21A: Like the figure formed by the three circled letters in the upper left) when it appeared just two days ago, and I'm sure we'll all like it again today. It did, however, immediately give away the theme and the other two centrally-located longish theme answers, ISOSCELES and EQUILATERAL. And, to be thorough, the circled letters spell out TRIANGLES. It was an unusual theme, and I have no idea how hard it is to place circles with specific letters, but the fill in this one seemed on the high side, so either Mr. Raymon is very good at what he does, or it's not that hard. Let's be charitable and go with the first option.

It started with a couple of partials on the first line, ATAB (1A: Run up ____) and OHTO (10A: "____ be in England") (ironically, the first one was the harder of the two for me to get), and then we quickly see such junk as TMEN and ARIS, and it ends with a dreaded "en-" word, although ENSNARE (68A: Sucker in) is, admittedly, one of the better ones. But the long downs make up for it, in my opinion. ANTWERP (1D: Belgian seaport) (Hey, did I mention that we were recently in Belgium?), is nice to see, and who doesn't enjoy any reference to "Stephen Colbert's 'I Am ____ (And So Can You!)?" (AMERICA)? HERONRY (11D: Nesting area for wading birds) checks out in the ol' Random House College Dictionary that I keep on the desk, but damn if it didn't take me forever to come up with those last two letters! By contrast, TRISTAN (12D: Isolde's beloved) went in off the T, and I didn't really even need that. I just had it.

It wasn't without it's problems, but overall, I'd say this was an enjoyable, if slightly quick, Wednesday puzzle.

- Horace


  1. 12:36
    I figured out the theme (and loved it) quickly, too, and agree with the difficulty of finishing off HERONRY. In addition to what Horace mentions, I liked the pairing of MEL and FLO, but never heard of this STEIGER (65A "In the Heat of the Night" Oscar winner); wasn't Carroll O'Connor in that (which would have fit, by the way)? ACETATE was good, and SCENT was clued nicely (33A A dog might catch one). Actually, that one seems obvious now, but it stopped me for a few seconds while I was solving. Finally, I have a PEROT lawn sign in my office, so always good to see him brought up.

  2. 6:30. The theme came off quickly, and I was happy to see "triangles" spelled out, just in case we didn't know what these SCALENE, ISOSCELES, and EQUILATERAL things were. I agree with Horace that there's a lot to both love and dislike about the fill. RESURGE crossed with URGE is pretty poor. A ton of 3-letters in the middle, and nobody likes to start with partials. OTOH, I liked CERAMICS, MALESEX, and had to chuckle at TRALALA. I misread GAMELAW as I put it in, reading it with three syllables, like the Indonesian instrument, the Gamelon. I put TYNE in without a cross, which gave me the unnecessary N of TRISTAN. Still, HERONRY did take a long time to figure out. On the whole, a positive experience.

  3. Gee, I thought this one was quite poor. As has been noted, the theme answers are ridiculously easy gimmes. I'm not impressed by the circles that spell "triangle." Most of the fill around those circles is weak: ATAB, LEA, REMS, SCRAG, etc. MALESEX, while nicely clued, is a very stiff entry. GAMELAW is awful. I can't make up my mind on HERONRY, but I do know that that northeast corner is full of crap: OFA. OHTO, ARIS, and I'll throw in ONSTAGE, what with its hackneyed cluing and all. Southeast isn't much better. RESURGE is awkward. Bring on The Turn! (Never heard of Rod Steiger??!! Shirley, you're joking. You was my brother, Charley, you shoulda looked out for me.)