Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014, Allan E. Parrish


Well, it's back to school time, and Mr. Parrish has given us a trickier-than-usual Monday to usher in the new season of study. Many subjects are covered today. From Economics we have ZEROSUM (3D: Like a game with equal winners and losers) and NETLOSS (40D: Business setback recorded on Schedule C), from Science we see STAPH (9D: ____ infection), ETHYL (48A: Car fuel additive) (see also 11D: What's filled in a fill-up GASTANK), and DISSECT (13D: Cut up, as a frog), and from English/Vocabulary we get ATROPHY (41D: Wither away) and JAPES (5A: Mocking remarks). There's a little geography quiz in the NE, with 12D: and 16A: "African country bordering [each other]" ALGERIA & MALI. and then there's the History extra-credit question that separates the honors kids from the lower tracks (do they still track? I thought I heard that that had gone out of fashion some time ago) 17A: Socialite who inspired 1950's "Call Me Madam" PERLEMESTA. Knowing that one will surely get you a star.

And if you enjoy the subject of History, you will surely delight in ADLAI (4D: Old politico Stevenson), NAPALM (40A: Vietnam War weapon), and SUSIEQ (25A: 1957 hit covered by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1968), all of which are a bit MUSTY (28A: Stale-smelling). YUPPIE (55A: One of a 1980s demographic) skews slightly newer, but not much.

The anagram theme is well-done, and the central revealer looks elegant, just sitting there in the middle by itself. There was some less-than-stellar stuff, but nothing too terribly bad. It might sound like I have been complaining, but I welcome a greater challenge in the early-week puzzles.

Oddest clue 25A: First word in many newspaper names (THE).

Thumbs up.

- Horace


  1. DNF for a silly mistake: UCSf for UCSB, which if I had been working in both directions, I would have caught. The theme is a bit whatever (PERLEMESTA?), but the rest of the fill is very good. SUSIEQ is nice, ZEROSUM, DISSECT, and especially ATROPHY are fresh to my eyes. And it's not a pangram either! I don't much like SYNS or ETHYL, but the first gives us ATROPHY, so i accept it. Good Monday.

  2. 8:34
    I didn't know PERLEMESTA, but I had no problem filling it in with the crosses (I never even read its clue, not that that would have helped). I'd never heard the term JAPES, but I won't PICKAT this puzzle because, overall, it was a good Monday effort with some interesting cluing, such as 2D Drink cooler (ICECUBE), for example, and 45D Mollify (APPEASE). And any mention of Star Trek (21A Sulu and Uhura, e.g., on the Enterprise (SHIPMATES)) is fine by me.