Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014, Daniel Raymon


Well, this was a big, fat, DNF. We were down to four squares in the morning, then we looked at it after work and got two of them, but the last two, the I and C of ICET (28D: Player of Fin Tutuola on TV) (Who?) were not going to come. The crosses, RERI (28A: Soprano Grist) (Who?) and RICO (30A: Anti-Mafia measure, for short) (Whaa?) were decidedly not going to happen. Even now, they make no sense to me. And, to top it all off, we had an error over at the intersection of EMLEN (11D: Football Hall-of-Famer Tunnell) and NEVIS (27A: Neighbor of St. Kitts). That one's partly due to solving in tandem, because I had guessed "Emmet" for the football player, and then Frannie had put in other stuff and we were left with "Emlet," but probably more due to the fact that we didn't know either one.

So that's what we didn't know. Well, we didn't know RONELY (2D: Doc Savage portrayer) either, but  REG (18A: Short order?) kind of had to be right, so we got that one.

But that's ok. It's ok to not know things. Perhaps many other solvers are familiar with the coloratura who debuted in 1964, in Salzburg, and ended her professional career in 1991, in Amsterdam. We were not. But we are not the pure philistines you surely think us - Frannie got MARIACALLAS (68A: Singer known as "La Divina") off the MA, and she might not even have needed that. Soo....

Things I actually didn't like include BEBOPPED (22D: Played like Bird or Trane) (Was Coltrane Bebop? Surely not on "Blue Train"), RICAN (52A: Costa ____) (why is an adjective ok here?), PLEB (28A: Ordinary person) (not in the ordinary language of an ordinary person), XIN (62A: Mark, as a survey square), MMIV (58A: Year Bush was re-elected) (why you gotta go there?).

Things I liked include THAR (54A: Whaler's direction?) (ahh, remember Yokens?), MVP and LARAIDER (44A: & 18D: Bo Jackson was one in '89) (ahh, remember Bo Jackson?), and the eight-stacks in the NE and SW were quite nice. The ten-stacks in the other corners had good fill, but the clues seemed slightly odd for some of them. "1A: Poll internet users on, perhaps" for CROWDSOURCE? Is that really what that is? Isn't it putting the power of many people to work on one problem? and 67A: Words following an understatement? for ANDTHENSOME? I'd like an example.

I guess I can't really decide whether or not I liked it. I mean, there were some cute clues, like 18A: W. Coast airport one might think has poor security? (LAX), but there were a lot of proper names, some junk, and, of course, there's that pesky DNF situation. Oh, and who the hell is LIAT?

- Horace


  1. Somewhere around 20 minutes (unclear because I found out that when you go to the home screen of your iPad, when you open the NYT crossword app again, the timer is reset to zero). I didn't like this one much either. I agree about the clue for CROWDSOURCE, but I liked ANDTHENSOME fine. An awful lot of football: I liked the Bo Jackson pair of clues and Dick LEBEAU, but who are these other people? EMLEN Tunnell? RERI Grist? That's even a name? RONELY?! MARIACALLAS was nice, though. That makes several puzzles this week I didn't like. Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.

  2. The timer does not reset for us on the iPad. That seems like an odd glitch. Can I assume that you're using the updated version? We're hanging on to the old version for as long as we can, which should be until sometime in mid-December, when we have to renew our subscription. Why can't they make a decent app? They are the New York Times for chrissake! Oh well... I suppose I think the same of Harvard, who can't seem to make a beautiful web interface for their digital images. Why not?!?

  3. I hear you. On the other hand, I didn't have to buy the app - my paid subscription online allowed me to just download it and use it. That was a plus.

  4. 62:10 (DNF)
    I thought I finished, but alas, after looking at the solution I see a few problems, mostly caused by layuPPED instead of BEBOPPED (I was thinking of Larry Bird and didn't know the top crosses, although I should have come up with LEBEAU). Also, I had PEsIT instead of PETIT - had I just read the across clue I would have fixed that one. 49D Suitable job? made me think of a sailor suit for some reason. Dumb. Anyway, it was fine for a Friday.

  5. We're late getting to this one, but I'm surprised you don't remember Ice T, the early era white rapper gone "actor." And, RICO is the fairly well-reported anti-racketeering, organized crime statute to which I have long maintained the Catholic church ought to be subject for its organized effort to move priests thereby allowing them to continue to commit abuse crimes.

  6. The "who?" Wasn't for ICET, but for "Fin Tutuola." And still nothing on RICO.