Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014, Peter A. Collins


It's been a string of uncharacteristically difficult puzzles this week. I handed this one over to Frannie when I was about half done, as nothing was coming to me immediately. She filled in everything but the "WC" of WCHANDY (38A: "St. Louis Blues composer) (who?), but we got that when we looked at the puzzle's theme. HEADSTARTS (59A: Race advantages … or a hint to 17-, 23-, 38- and 49-Across) is kind of funny, really, except that it gives us the aforementioned WCHANDY and the somewhat unusual PRIVYCOUNCIL (23A: Monarch's advisers).

Lots of unknowns today - ROSCOE (9D: Mobster's gun), DAKTARI (26A: 1960s TV show featuring the cross-eyed lion Clarence) (wow), DEE (60D: Joey ____ & the Starlites), SEAN (62A: ____ Parker, first president of Facebook), and LANTANA (42D: Showy flower). And in the "did not enjoy" category we find FORA (18D: Words with time or song), CANTI (12D: "Ple-e-e-ease?"), and NEAPS (52D: Minimum range tides).

On the brighter side, ISAACSTERN (11D: Musician with a Presidential Medal of Freedom) and KAZAKHSTAN (28D: Former Solviet republic) (why didn't they say "Former SSR," since they love that abbreviation so much?) were lovely tens. And PROMPTS and PAYDAYS weren't bad either, although the second being pluralized takes a point or two off, I suppose.

I don't know, it seemed very non-Wednesday-ish, which I suppose is good, and the theme is nice (especially "can"), but I didn't end up loving it.

- Horace


  1. 39:25
    Also, what about SCHMO? That took me awhile, because I couldn't get PROMPTS, DOCS, EVAC or PENH for so long. PRIVYCOUNCIL didn't come easily either, and I only thought of DAKTARI because Joel Hodgson of MST3K once had a stool which he referred to as a "Daktari Stool" for his "Invention Exchange." Anyway, words like OCULO and SOYA made this take much longer than a typical Wednesday.

  2. 17:33. I typed a long entry about how I didn't like this puzzle, but I wasn't appropriately signed in, so it was erased. Suffice it to say it played old, it was filled with ugly entries, and NEAPS, which should never be in any puzzle. Thumbs down.

    1. I hate that. Lately I've been copying the text just before hitting "Publish" to make sure if there's a problem (like my not being signed in), I can just paste when things are made right. In the past if one forgot to sign in, a prompt would come up asking said person to sign in and then the blog would continue with the publishing of the comment. No more...I don't know what happened.