Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014, Joel Fagliano


It doesn't take much to sway me one way or the other on a puzzle. This one started out on my good side, with interesting information like CALCUTTA (3D: India's capital before New Delhi) and GONZO (18A: Muppet with a long bluish nose), but is ENORMITY really 4D: Sheer awfulness? Is that what that means now? And is SEVENTY really a 40D: Common highway speed limit? Maybe in Michigan? But not out here in the Northeast.

EVILTWIN (34D: Facetious fall guy for one's wrongdoings, maybe), and MISUSAGE (35D: Malapropism) look good side by side, and Frannie would have enjoyed the cluing on EMMA (34A: Jane Austen classic), had she been the one solving today. The theme, however, left me a little cold, and by the end, the Monday-ness of the clues was getting me down. 36D: Like guys (MALE), 37D: Pub orders (ALES), 46D: Zapped, as during an arrest (TASED)… and why "during an arrest?" It annoys me, as do AMMO and OWNAGUN, in a similar way. Not that they're inappropriate, per se, or anything, but they, like GAZA and GOLAN and even STONED conjure up controversial topics that I'd rather not think about on a Monday morning.  Call me sensitive. Others have before you.

Overall, though, I can't really fault the puzzle. There's some good stuff in here, and it's a fine Monday.



  1. 7:36
    You're being sensitive; things exist. I liked having STONED, HANDEL and ENCORE side-by-side, but I'd rather have had the GONZO answer clued with something to do with Hunter Thompson's brand of journalism rather than a dumb muppet reference. Also, it was nice seeing MATT (30A Actor Damon) in the grid since he's out here visiting.

  2. Well, perhaps.

    Also, ENORMITY does mean "wickedness," all by itself. I've learned something today.

  3. 37:20
    Jeremy made his mother (and Frannie) proud by getting EMMA very quickly. He was also right on top of current events with GAZA, although the GOLAN Heights took longer. It took him a while to figure out AIRPLANESEATS, but he thought it was funny.