Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014, Samuel A. Donaldson


I did the lion's share of the puzzle today, so Horace decided to palm the review off on me. I wood have written it sooner, but I branched off into other activities. Now, it's time to get on board.

The general impression I have is that overall, it was a fine puzzle. The falling trees didn't trip me up much, but I don't love the dangling bits covered by the dashed clues that read like junk (RMARY and HING, for example). But, I suppose the constructor's attitude was, "let the chips fall where they may!"

The clue that gave away the gimmick for me was 27A. Lucy Ricardo's friend (ETH/ELM/ERTZ). The rest was ASEASYASABC (24A. Very simple). My favorite one was 58A. Cavorted (PRAN/CEDAR/OUND). Horace and I were just saying to each other last night that one doesn't see quite as much prancing as one used to.

We learned a lot about word origins from 2D. Source of the words "mamba" and "chimpanzee" (BANTU) and 30A. Source of the word "mantra" (SANSKRIT). That should help the CSTUDENTS (70A. They're around 2.0) next time they are ASSESSED (109A. Sized up). There's a nice bit o' British slang in 'ere, too, for all us logophiles.

I'm going to guess that Huygens was all over 74A. Shortest Old Testament book (OBADIAH), as that's right in his tree house, so to speak. Funny that he's so knowledgeable about the Good Book AND a fan of  RISQUE material (4A. Suggestive). Other fill he might have enjoyed today 53D. Beach tops (BRAS), although the clue and answer seem a little mismatched to me, but what do I know, I'm just one woman? And 66a. Lathering (SOAPING), which also fits nicely with his love of cleanliness. Hey, that's next to Godliness, right?

OK, you're probably looking for more synthesis, but I've got to make like a tree and leaf!



  1. 36:48
    This theme came pretty easy to us. The first two clues we were absolutely sure of before we entered anything were 27A: Lucy Ricardo's friend and 10A: William Henry Harrison's nickname. When they didn't fit something was sure to be up.

    Yet, on this particular day, our favorite clue was 128A; Words for entering a united state. (Perhaps Mr. Amory won't comment until tomorrow...)

    1. Wow! Thanks for remembering! That's pretty impressive...

  2. Hey Frannie! Great to see your usual style of humor gracing this otherwise overly analytical, and, dare I say it, male blog. I found this puzzle okay. I get the idea of the the tree falling, I suppose, but what's the first part of the answer supposed to represent? The graphical representation thusly:

    does not look like a tree to yrs truly.

    In other news, I love the two very long down answers (ITALIANSTALLION and YOURENOTKIDDING). WHIZBANG took a long time to figure out: I had WHIs_ANG (the s from TsE), and didn't know the crossing across answer (BATISTE).

    And finally, the answer STEELTRAP made me think of you, Frannie.

    Overall, pretty good, I guess.

    1. Clearly, the graphical representation did not come out as I desired.

  3. 55:07
    I loved 91D First-rate (WHIZBANG) and 126A Something most people don't want two of (CHIN). I have a few write-overs, but overall this puzzle went pretty quickly since I, too, figured out the theme pretty quickly. I did't love STEALER (47A Thief) too much, but there really isn't much to complain about here. I thought that Frannie would have mentioned APU, but no, and Horace probably enjoys 92A Diner side dish (ONIONRINGS) when he visits those establishments. I needed a few crosses for OBADIAH; I don't really remember too much about that book, and am unlikely to re-read it.