Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014, Kristian House


We did this while sitting on the beach, looking out at the ocean. It's a pretty nice way to do a puzzle, and it seemed to work out for us, as we finished in just over a half an hour. Frannie blew the middle apart, getting ARTISAN (29A: Craftsperson), ORWELLIAN (32A: Like a Big Brother society), and ROALDDAHL (44A: Subject of the 2010 biography "Storyteller"), which really opened things up.

The hardest part, for us, by far, was the SE, which took us a good ten minutes on its own. We just could not understand how 66A: Left part of a map? (BLUESTATE) and 64D: Frequent winner in a 66-Across: Abbr. (DEM) would work together. We were at an impasse until OTBS (55D: Some parlors, for short) finally fell. It's funny, because there were a couple of gimmies in that section that helped us get going - RUY (63D: Chess's ____ Lopez opening), and the fun TETE (59D: First of many body parts in "Alouette"), but we can never remember SKAT (58D: It uses sevens through aces), and PULP (Trashy, in a way) took us forever!

There were a handful of groan-inducing bits - OWER, PRIERS, and ENDERS, for example - and we think USERFEE (39A: Charge at a state park) is a bit of a stretch. "Entrance fee" would be better, wouldn't it? but LUBRICANT (33D: It helps get the wheels turning), MANENOUGH (1A: Not too wimpy), ONONEKNEE (15A: Begging, perhaps), and many others, make those little annoyances bearable. And can we talk for a minute about BUTTNAKED (10D: Completely bare)? Isn't that just a corruption of "buck naked?" And either way, shocking!

Overall, though, this was a good Saturday grid, with some nice "paired" clues, some nice trivia, and lots of long, interesting answers. Plus, it's a lovely, overcast day on the beach, which reminds me, I've gotta go!

- Horace


  1. 17:48
    Yes, that's right: 17:48. I blew this one out of the water (although I'm still working on Thursday's after just figuring out the theme 77 minutes in!). Anyway, I got BUTTNAKED and actually said out loud, "Could this BE BUTTNAKED?!?!" Excellent! I'm with you on the groan-inducing crap, but stuff like TURDUCKEN, RENTACOP, VEALOSCAR and LUBRICANT (which, with different cluing, could have been nice "Huygens fill"), along with those mentioned by Horace, made up for it. Yes, it's Saturday, Horace (^ up there ^). Enjoy the beach, and we'll see you bright and early tomorrow.

  2. Thanks, it's been fixed now.

    Nice time! And thanks for pointing out the ones I didn't highlight.

  3. Also, ET59 & I had Manhattans this afternoon, while Frannie had straight rye, but we're looking forward to the official start of the SMCH tomorrow!

  4. My mother and I finished this Saturday puzzle in about 12 minutes. I put RUY in first, while my mother put URIAH in right off the bat. Really?! Apparently he was the husband of Bathsheba. Who knew? Well, my mother apparently. Helps to be the daughter of a Rabbi. Hope contributed MRSC from Happy Days, and then the entire middle fell quickly. Mom figured out that Smiley was from John LeCarre - which reminds me, I want to see the new movie with the last major performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman. I love BLUESTATE, and TURDUCKEN is ridiculous - ridiculously good. I agree that PRIERS, OWER, and ENDERS are all very poor, and I don't understand how you can clue NIECE with "____ in-law." I mean, anybody can be an in-law, but you really almost never refer to your nephew's wife as a "niece-in-law." And let's just all love BUTTNAKED together. My mom wanted it to be BUckNAKED, but I corrected her. It's BUTT, and BUTT all the way.

  5. One other thing - Mom says that 38A: K'ung Fu-____ (Confucius) (Answer: TSE) is wrong. If anything, the transliteration in the given style should be "Szu". Wikipedia gives it as Tzu. That being said, when typing into Google, Tzu comes up first, but Tse is also offered.