Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014, Finn Vigeland


This one felt pretty much like a Friday ought to feel - hard but workable. Various things were dimly familiar to one or the other of us, and finally came with a few crosses, like HUMBLEBRAG (1A: Self-praise couched in self-deprecation, in modern lingo) for Frannie (she says the Berkman Center folks use it a lot), and LENADUNHAM (17A: 2013 Golden Globe winner for "Girls") for me. (I know her only through her appearance on SNL (another crossword darling) last year.) Incidentally, the ten-letter answer sandwiched between those two was the last thing to be filled in for us today. We had INADE_UATE, and we kept thinking "In a ____," which was never going to work. Making matters worse, I had removed the U from Lena Dunham's name, thinking I might not be right about it, but I finally put it back in, which left E_UAL for 6D: Level (EQUAL), and just when I put it in, I said "Equal!" and Frannie said "Inadequate!" at just about the same time. Funny. To us, anyway.

In other areas, RELLENO (12D: Stuffed chili pepper) rang one of those distant bells, but it sounded slightly louder than LLANERO (24A: South American cowboy). That cross, combined with ELEA (18A: Colony in ancient Magna Graecia) and NEO (30A: ____-soul (style of Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill) made that corner quite difficult.

In the SW, I had tried the old standby "spas" where INNS (57A: Resort options) belonged, and neither of us was really sure about LAUTNER (39D: Taylor of "Twilight") (another hazy memory), but that slowly came together, too, with the help of crosswordese-y ARA (44A: Coach Parseghian) and SATIE (53A: Contemporary and compatriot of Debussy), the latter of which I guessed off the E.

Not much to write home about in this one. Maybe PALETTES (27D: Spots where artists mix?), which was clever, or PEIGNOIR (36D: Negligee), which is a nice word (and with BOOP and SEXPERT, constitutes today's Huygen's material), but other than that, it was just a slow plow through the grid. Nothing wrong with that. It can be quite satisfying sometimes.


- Horace


  1. Untimed (we took it with us when we got haircuts), but <45 mins.
    Sue helped! While I was getting my hair cut, I handed the puzzle to her and she actually looked it over, entering things like SEAFOOD, LIRAS, ONEPOTATO, ONRECORD, and NEO. Granted, I'd entered many of the crosses, but she saw through, for example, ONE_OT_TO and ON_ECO__, to get the answers, which was very helpful. I told her that if she can help on a Friday, a Monday or Tuesday puzzle shouldn't be beyond her solo attempts. Anyway, Horace pointed out the Huygens material. LENADUNHAM is, kinda, also, since she's often naked on "Girls," although I've never watched the show, and the fact that she's naked isn't really much of an incentive. Most of my hesitation was in the NE, also, because it took awhile to get 11A Story lines (ARCS), even though I had AR_S, 16A What marketers might follow (TELE) was tricky and I didn't know the "L" crossing RELLANO/ELEA. Sue helped with that, too. This was a nice Friday. Hopefully, Sue will take a look at tomorrow's offering with me.

  2. Excellent news about Sue. I hope it continues!

  3. 17:27. I liked the NW and the SE of this puzzle a lot. I got in with BDAY, and then LENADUNHAM went in, but then I had to move elsewhere. I had bits and pieces here and there, until ONEPOTATO went in, which helped fill in the NE (the first corner to be completely filled for me - I had no idea about ELEA or LLANERO, and guessed NEO, but it all worked out through crosses). SATIE was nice, and POLLSTER was well-clued. I liked that the last across answer was FRESHSTART - pointing us to tomorrow, I guess.

    "Level" and "Not level" was a nice pairing (EQUAL and ATASLANT). "Make public" and "Public" were another good pairing (UNEARTH and ONRECORD). Cece gave me LAUTNER from the other room. Good to have a young one in the house. Last clue to be entered was ETVOILA!