Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014, Andy Kravis


It's a whole new world. Harder-than-normal puzzles Monday through Wednesday. I could get used to this. Today I handed it to Frannie not just because I didn't get everything immediately, but because I genuinely had no idea what to do. I had put in "SlAp" for SWAT (36D: Whack), which left "lET_ELL" for 36A: Battery containing a liquid electrolyte" (WETCELL), and even though I guessed the C, I had some kind of block against the "wet" part. And to top it all off, I did not remember "The Lovely Bones" (THELOVELYBOXES (48A: Film about an elegantly made crossword? (2009))) as a movie, so that was just not making any sense. Luckily, she did not have such shortcomings.

Even if I overlook all that trouble, there were still many parts of this that were not straightforward. (Which, remember, is a good thing, not a bad thing. I'm afraid that it might sound like I'm complaining here, but I'm not.) ARGOT (14A: Shoptalk) (I think of it more just as "slang"), ONEAM (15A: Weest of wee hours) (It took FOREVER for me to see that as "wee-est" ("most wee")), NORMA (6A: Bellini opera) (?), NIM (35A: Logic game with matchsticks) (I guess I know the kind of thing they're talking about, but I've never heard that name), BRANDTS (58A: First family of Germany, 1969-1974) (should I know this?), STAEL (68A: "Delphine" author Madame de ____), and so on.

The silly Xed out movie title theme was amusing. Especially the first answer MARXATTACKS (17A: Film about a Communist invasion? (1996)). God that movie was awful.

LEVITATE (37D: Get off the ground) was nice, as was 56A: Licit (ALLOWED). It's always nice to see Latin clues. The rest is just a BLUR.

- Horace


  1. 38:47
    I actually figured out the theme pretty quickly, but I'd put SlAp in there instead of SWAP, and so had trouble with the two answers Horace mentions. I starred 34A It's usually between 3 and 5 (PAR) as particularly good, and 11D Like a bass voice or a hairy chest (UNFEMININE), which is grody. I didn't know that 39A The statue "David" on open-air display in Florence, e.g. is a REPLICA (now I do). Of the theme answers, I least liked EATXRAYLOVE (63A Film about a romantic dentist's daily routine? (2010)). The others were fine. I enjoy these more-challenging early week puzzles. Keep 'em coming!

  2. What, no comment on my amazing Photoshop work?! I spent a good two or three minutes on that this morning before work!

  3. 9:10. I really liked this puzzle too. BETTEDAVIS! What a great long answer. DALI was unexpected, YEARLY and AMSTEL are fine, and UNFEMININE is brilliant. 37D: Get off the ground? (LEVITATE) seems like it doesn't deserve a question mark, by which I mean that the answer is too clearly indicated by the clue. I thought the first three theme answers were very funny, while the third, while clever, doesn't hit the same spot. What, this dentist only eats in the morning before going to work?

    I did know that the statue of David outside the Palazzo Vecchio was a REPLICA, as our tour guide made sure to point it out. It's good to see there so you get a sense of what Michelangelo intended in terms of the statue's proportions, which are not anatomically correct when viewed from a more "eye-to-eye" level.

    I'm surprised that Huygens did not comment on PLAYBOY. And nice Photoshop work, Horace. It reminded me of Terry Gilliam's Monty Python animations to see Marx's head in there.

  4. 21:09
    I did this one alone and it took some work. I didn't get the theme right away and that slowed things down a bit. But while I did have to hope around a little, there wasn't ever any long periods of being stalled. So the figuring ultimately paid off.

    I liked seeing the 3 diagonal "VVV" in the SE. Don't see that as often as the diagonal "TTT" is the South Central, and not nearly as much as the diagonal "AAA" in the SW, and clearly not as much as the diagonal "EEE" in the West Central.