Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014, Samuel A. Donaldson


I entered "helmet" and "sombrero" immediately on my trip through the Acrosses, but when a few downs showed them to be incorrect, I worried that I was missing something big. Then when the M in FARREMOVED (17D: Very distant) fell into the space where "sombrero" had been, I all of a sudden figured out that it had to run backward - ORERBMOS (31A: Siesta shader)! Before getting any of the other ones, I worked out that the revealer must be FLIPONESLID (61A: Go crazy ... or a hint on how to enter five answers in this puzzle), and was momentarily put off by 1. the word "ones" and 2. how it seemed rather a vague way to say that some entries had to be backwards. Then I realized that a sombrero was a "lid", and that it had been flipped. D'Oh! I quickly put in REKLATSREED (17A: Sherlock Holmes accessory), TEMLEH (28A: Biker gear), and ARODEF (48A: Sinatra cover) (nice clue) and thank goodness I did figure it out, because E_LU_RAY (47A: Orthodox trademark (EKLUMRAY)) was looking terrible.

The non-theme long fill today was quite good, I thought. FARREMOVED (17D: Very distant), TYRANNIES (38D: Oppressive regimes), and MIXOLOGIST (30D: Bartender) are three nice examples. TASSE (28D: French cup) is probably foreign to many (see what I did there?), but it is what told me that "helmet" wasn't right the way I had first entered it. I like the clue for HERO (27D: Lover of Leander, in myth), and it was probably that one that told me "sombrero" was wrong. But getting back to French, the clue for OUI (60A: Parlement assent) was devilish, I thought, because a quick scan might allow you to believe it was really "Parliament assent," which would lead to something like "yea" or "aye," but I thought they were making up a French word "parlement" to mean, sort of, "speaking," but in French, giving "oui." It turns out, I guess, that "parlement" means "parliament" in French, but I've never heard it before. Maybe it's French Canadian. Who knows. Bottom line, though - tricky.

More good - INPEN (6A: Improper way to take the SAT) is funny because it's true, FIB (11A: Not a very big invention) was cute, and it seems that every single thing I see from the ONION (50A: Source of the headline "Study Finds Blame Now Fastest Human Reflex," with "The") is hilarious. How do they do it?

Not-so-good - ASIP 51A: Take ____ (sample some). I guess it's fine, but I didn't love it. ILEUM (65A: Small intestine section). I suppose Colum will know this immediately, but, well, I didn't, and who wants to think about the small intestine? LLB (62D: Legal deg.) OK, sure, whatever. Plural ELKS (3D: Game with horns) seems odd. Took a guess that 42A: The economist Adam Smith, for one was a SCOT. Never heard of GINO (58D: Pop singer Vannelli), and it was another case where a quick glance might have led one to enter "MILI," even though that would have been wrong on several levels. Not that I did that or anything, and not that that really jammed up the SE for a long time...

Overall, I guess I liked it.

- Horace


  1. 33:20
    I figured out the backwards thing right away with TEMLEH because I had TACH and NEED in there, then MIXOLOGIST. However, I didn't realize the "lid" thing until near the end, when it all came together. 66A Softly (PIANO) was excellent, and it took forever for 56A Kellogg's brand since 1970 (EGGO) to come to me even though I had the "E" and the "O" pretty early on. I thought Horace would have mentioned 63D Evil org. in "The Simpsons Movie" (EPA), but he didn't. I never heard of a TASSE, but noticed the "e" in Parlement right away and got OUI without trouble. I liked ILEUM (and am familiar with it), but I didn't like DAYBOOK (38A Appointment holder) - don't we call that a "planner?" - or FROM (44A Preprinted gift tag word). I did like NUTS (54A "Aw, heck!") as well as, for obvious reasons, LUST (20A Intense hunger)! Excellent.

  2. 13:22. Now here's a fine puzzle, finally. I was stuck for quite a while with those backwards words. I didn't figure out any of them until I had entered FLIPONESLID, and even then, I had to have TEM__H before the aha lightbulb went off. I love REKLATSREED and EKLUMRAY. MIXOLOGIST is great. A fairly clean grid ALLTOLD. I misspelled ILiUM for a while (isn't that the city of Troy?). ANDOR is not so great.

  3. Yes, it is Troy. And hilarious that you had it misspelled!