Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014, Evan Birnholz


Mr. Birnholz, you had me at CROTCH (9A: Pants part).

I got precious little on my first pass through this thing, but I handed it over to Frannie, who had just finished her breakfast and was to shortly head out for her annual shopping spree, and she used her limited time to fill in a healthy amount of material. And after that, we worked together to finish it off.

Lots of very nice fill today. PSYCHOPATH (23A: The Joker, e.g.), DIRTYHARRY (45A: Scorpio hunter of film), KICKSTARTER (5D: Modern kind of campaign) (is "kind of" necessary here?), AUTOCORRECT (25D: Aid for clumsy thumbs), ONTIPTOE (37D: Walking very quietly, say), TRUTHINESS (12D: Subject of "The Word" on the first episode of "The Colbert Report"), COHERED (40D: Stuck), ASTUTE (18A: Sharp)... there's tons of good stuff! Also, when we were in Talant, France this summer, we met a British guy who brought one of the COOPERS (38A: Classic British cars that pioneered in rear engines) with him to race, and Frannie almost convinced him to let her take it for a spin!

Of course, if you're going to have a lot of good fill, it seems you frequently will have things like RAS (10D: "Batman" villain _____ al Ghul) (Whaaa??), STINGO (38A: Strong ale, in British lingo) (umm... ok), SOLER (36D: Cobbler, at times), and my old non-favorite ROLEO (48A: Competition where the last one standing wins). Someday, I suppose, by some terrible misfortune, I will probably attend a ROLEO, and then maybe I'll change my tune, but for now, no.

We enjoyed it, but we don't have much power on the iPad, and Huygens is chary with his hotspot service, so this ends now.

- Horace


  1. Untimed, with my mother and Cece, but it took at most 12 minutes. So, we entered the grid with RAS, which just goes to show, diff'rent strokes, and all that. It's great to have alternative knowledge bases working together on a Saturday. My mother easily identified ARNE Jacobsen, Mobuto SESE Seko, as well as STEPHEN, the first Christian martyr (the last identified when Cece read the clue, before finding the place on the grid where it would be entered). Loved all of the long answers, each a lovely word. I liked how KICKSTARTER and AUTOCORRECT mirror each other, as do PSYCHOPATH and DIRTYHARRY (excellent!). We definitely had a nit to pick with ASCOTS. Dress blues have a neckerchief, and the idea of a US Navy enlistee wearing an ascot seemed wrong. Wikipedia upholds us, but may not be the final word on the matter. I too hate SOLER, but otherwise enjoyed this puzzle immensely.

  2. On my first pass, I only tapped in, RIC, wrestler flair - that alone gives me pause on several levels. The sun came out so I threw the puzzle to Mr. Knickerz, who thought it was very challenging but enjoyed it and finished it solo.