Friday, August 29, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014, David Steinberg


This one came in fits and starts. Things like INTEGRA (20A: Bygone Acura), BASSALE (12D: Beverage with a triangular logo) and ROSANNE (62A: Cash in a country bar) (when Johnny didn't fit, what else could it have been?) came quickly, but, to me at least, the clues for SEERESS (38A: Sybill Trelawney, in the Harry Potter books), ATOMANT (42D: Ferocious Flea fighter, in cartoons), and  ALDENTE (54A: Trattoria specification) were more opaque. Luckily, Frannie didn't have that much trouble with them. We ended working together to finish up with TALARIA (57A: Mercury's winged sandals) (wow.), PLIED (50D: Worked with) (hmm...) and PAPAS (50A: Ones with issues?). That last one was pretty good, actually.

"41A: Piece of trash?" is a pretty weak clue for JUNKART, if you ask us. And enough with the damn 5D: Parisian possessive (ALUI). It's like "Spanish this" or that, or these... and what's more, it's not even a normal possessive. If you wanted to say "his book" for example, you'd say "son livre," not "le livre à lui." It's absurd. And while it's not technically wrong, I'd still say it's wrong. "A toi, à moi, à lui"... are we also going to allow "à eux," "à vous," and "à nous?" And what about "sien," "tien," "votre" and "notre?"

My favorite part of this is the NW, with LAZARUS (1D" "The Raising of ____" (Rembrandt painting)), ZZZQUIL (17A: Vicks product) (nice), and OZZFEST (2D: Annual heavy metal tour). AZOBLUE (18A: Synthetic purplish colorant) is kind of a steep price to pay, but I'll pay it here.

Nice to see MAME (26A: Musical title character who "made us feel alive again" ) in the grid. I just quoted her earlier in the week. And speaking of the grid, it's lovely, with that X right in the middle.

Frannie calls the puzzle a mixed bag. I agree.

- Horace


  1. 24:26. I agree with both of you that this puzzle was a mixed bag. There were some lovely answers: LAZARUS, OZZFEST, TRIPLEX, DELTOID. Cece got BBQ, YOGI (impressive), and suggested "parents" immediately upon reading the clue "Ones with issues?" (PAPAS). I actually have an issue with that last clue myself. I don't think having more than one child means that you have "issues." I think you just have "issue." Anyway...

    Never heard of ATOMANT. Liked the full name JEANARP as opposed the ubiquitous "Jean ___" clue. USLAW, ALUI, BALER, ANC: meh. I really like the grid, with the four 7x7 squares, and only 16 3-letter answers, none in groups.

    And, yes, MAME was an immediate enter, and a welcome one.

  2. 54:31
    I liked this one fine, although I did guess on the "A" of ANC to get its cross TALARIA as well as the "L" of AZOBLUE to get its cross, the aforementioned (by Horace) ALUI, which I wouldn't have known, correct or not. I loved GOGOBAR, but not PLAYTEX too much. Also, nice Reed reference with Sweet JANE. I thought this a proper Saturday puzzle.