Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014, Michael Wiesenberg


After yesterday, I guess they thought they'd throw us a bone. Many of the elevens went in immediately, like STADIUMROCK (1A: Queen's music) (If we're stretching for another Friday mini-theme, we can pair this with EUROPOP (37D: Abba's music) and call it good) and DEARREADER (12D: Lead-in to some written advice), or with just a couple crosses, like DRIVETOWORK (53A: Commute, in a way) (would have preferred "Bike to work") and HOWONEARTH (26D: Exclamation that might be punctuated with "??!?"). And once you've got a few of those in place, things just kind of fill themselves in. At least they did today. I think my only write-over was going from "plum tomato" to ROMATOMATO (14D: Option for a marinara base). And really, a Roma is a plum tomato, sooo…. Oh, and I wanted "soil" for SITU (1D: Archaeologists often find what they're looking for in this), but really, can you call it "in situ" if it's just in the ground? I mean, it's no longer in the place where it was being used, or was stored. It's in the ground. After being tumbled by some force and then buried. I guess the things unearthed at Pompeii could be said to be "in situ," but could it be said of pot sherds dug up in Tuscany? I don't really think so. Still, it was trying to be cute, so I guess I'll give points for effort.

Pretty clean, overall, with just the somewhat odd YTTRIA (21A: Oxide used in picture tubes) and the completely unknown (to me) NER (30D: ____ Tamid (ever-burning synagogue lamp) to make it look a little more Friday-y. The stacks in the SW and NE make for mini-stacks of threes, but I thought those were clued quite well, so I'm not complaining. ORE (48A: It's often an oxide) was trickier than normal, and DIR (12A: Film developer?: Abbr.) and ADM (18A: Big gun on a ship) were both kind of fun.

When I look at the grid now, all I see is BENICETO (28A: Coddle, e.g.), and I keep thinking, "I don't know who that is…"

Overall, I liked it.

- Horace


  1. 23:23
    This was fast for me. Thank goodness I know Michael CERA, otherwise that, crossed with MAHRE, would have been impossible for me. Also, I'm happy to know AOKI (3D Isao of golf) thanks to other crossword puzzles, or I may have not gotten UNI, but perhaps I would have regardless since it's a relatively easy clue/answer for a Friday. A good clue (and album promotion) for Brian ENO (16A Musician with the 2012 album "Lux"); I should probably purchase that. Looking over the puzzle prior to entering the last square, I thought the same thing about BENICETO as Horace! But I'm a fan of yytrium, so YYTRIA is fine by me.

  2. 21:26. Definitely slow for me today. I got thrown off at the start by entering "incrayon" for CRAYONED, a word that I don't like at all. It made me question ending 1A with ROCK, so slow going there. I actually really broke in in the SE.

    I really liked the SW and NE sets of 10-letter answers. INDISTINCT and OVERSTRESS are very nice words. Thought Huygens would mention NAKED, or at least TIT.

  3. 27:59
    Maybe it was the wine, but I thought we didn't this fairly quickly...
    I remember Isao Aoki and Phil and Steve Mahre from watching sports in the 1970s, so those were gimmes. We were more deliberate about the longer answers, I guess, looking for confirming crosses. That goes for CRAYONED, which I had from the beginning but didn't enter until very late.

    Huygens, what about the BAKED/NAKED cross?

  4. Sorry to Colum and Icarus for not mentioning those things! I was so happy to have finished in near record time for me for a Friday that I was delerious. Agree with BAKED/NAKED and TIT.