Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014, Mary Lou Guizzo and Jeff Chen


Frannie and I split the work on this nice, meaty grid with an appropriately macabre and Halloweenish mini-theme of "The Cask of Amontillado." BURIED ALIVE (32A: Like Fortunato, in Poe's …) and HORRORSTORY (33A: "The Cask of Amontillado," e.g.) are lovely central fill. COGNOSCENTE (29A: Expert) we are less thrilled with. Frannie guessed "cognoscento" at first, which I disliked at least as much as the correct answer. "Cognoscenti," sure… people say that in English, but "cognoscente?" Not so much.

But I'm not going to let that spoil a perfectly good puzzle, especially one that starts so beautifully with 1A: Boston and Chicago, but not Seattle (ROCKBANDS). I thought briefly of "Title Towns," but alas, it didn't fit. ADVISABLE (16A: Recommended), MOUSEOVER (49A: Get ready to click, maybe), and COEXISTED (54A: Didn't kill each other) are all good. The last is amusingly literal, which is not quite true of INCARNATE (52A: Having human form). Wouldn't "In the flesh" be more accurate? Not that it matters, it's still a great word.

Good stuff is everywhere. BOOBTUBE (32D: Idiot box) - classic, and I like the pair of 33D: Desire (HOPEFOR) and 11D: Desire (APPETITE). Verb, noun. Nice. COINAGE (12D: Introduction to English?) - Great clue! NOBRAINER (7D: Easy decision), fun. Too much good stuff to call it all out, and overall, a very good Friday. So far so good on the Turn. Here's hoping for more of the same tomorrow!

- Horace


  1. 15:49. What an outstanding grid. I agree with your quibble on COGNOSCENTE (I too tried both i and o in the last square, and it was the last square I filled in as well). The HORRORSTORY was well crossed by LORRE, even though the line was from Casablanca, as referenced in your photo. REGIONAL and NOBRAINER were very nice. SATESAUCE less so, in that it doesn't seem like a thing I've heard of.

    My first entry was KLINK, without a moment's pause.

    Very much enjoyed it.

  2. 22:22
    Hah! We filled in COGNOSCENT_ and left the last letter off until COINAGE, which was the last thing we entered. We agree with much of the good and would add the great (44A: Anthrax cousin) for Metallica.

  3. 50:45
    Well, it took me a bit longer, mostly due to the NE. The rest of the puzzle was filled in in 32:28, which is still a bit longer than all of you people. LAMONT (34D The son on "Sanford and Son" was excellent, and we like WEIRS (27D Small dams) in my business. KLINK and LORRE were excellent to see, and it took me awhile to get that "TE" into the end of COGNOSCENTE. Regardless, I enjoyed the puzzle and its theme.