Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014, John Farmer


Yesterday we were cutting out a part of the words, now we're collapsing the words. I didn't notice that the letters that collapsed, or are REPEATed, as the revealer would have it, are themselves words. I guess that is a little more interesting, but I hardly think it was necessary. Let's see, PIE, LET, SHE, DON, and PAL… hmmm… I don't think there's anything more there. Still, I enjoyed the playfulness of today and yesterday, even if they were a bit on the easy side.

The longer downs were nice again today, too, with CORNUCOPIA (28D: Abundant supply) (it's almost Thanksgiving!), and the rare TRIPLEPLAY (17D: Ultimate rally-killer). I suppose you could have a no-out rally, but is it really called a rally at that point? Well, maybe if it's late in the game, I suppose it could be… AMTRAK (4D: Pacific Surfliner operator) is nice, and makes me think of my Dad, who loves riding AMTRAK. And BUOYUP (47D: Bolster) is pretty good, too. It also makes me want to dream up a scenario where I could say that someone could "man up" to "buoy up" a situation. Heh.

Not too much trash today - maybe DEREG, NEBS, and DIORS are a bit MESSY (30D: Convoluted), but they're not terribly egregious. And I don't necessarily think of a FRAPPE as a 38A: Chilled coffee drink, but then again, I don't drink many chilled coffee drinks, so what do I know?

Loved the clue for RBI (50A: What you get for bringing someone home), and 31A: Fall guy's partner? (EVE) was also cute. LAPD (26D: Hollywood force, in brief) was also good - Frannie got that one as she looked over my shoulder. Never heard of ADA (67A: Computer language named for Lord Byron's daughter), but I might now look into it.

Not fantastic, but not bad.

- Horace


  1. 11:37. That's ADA Lovelace, the original creator of the computer (analytic machine), along with Charles Babbage. Mentioned recently on Colbert. The theme is bizarre but well done. The weakest is WHOOPIES, where the 3-letter word repeated is actually the second word of the phrase, which doesn't happen in any of the other phrases. Not fond of seeing EYES, BYES, and NYE in one puzzle. Although any reference to Bill NYE is a good one. I also liked the reference to Pee Wee REESE, a total guess on my part that turned out to be right. All in all, a reasonable Thursday.

  2. I believe that if you looked into Ada you will learn of a girl who was very good at math and a computer language (definitely "Ada" not "ADA," I happen to know from a very solid source) that was, in part, written by my father-in-law.

  3. The caps are a convention, much like that of referring to females over the age of, say, eighteen, as women.

  4. Both excellent clarifications, Horace, and perhaps I should confirm that I am familiar with both. My points here were, first; I have, myself, made the error (outside of the crossword sphere) of referring to the computer language "Ada" as "ADA" and "A.D.A." and have been corrected by someone with first person knowledge of why the language is so-named. Second, you have yourself met this person who was a co-author of the computer language. And third, Ada was somewhat unique as a 19th century girl in that "Ada herself from childhood had a fascination with machines– designing fanciful boats and steam flying machines, and poring over the diagrams of the new inventions of the Industrial Revolution that filled the scientific magazines of the time." I am aware that as a women she went on to read about Luigi Menabrea's "Analytical Engine," and further expand upon it and that it was her notes which were later used by Alan Turing to develop one of the first modern computers.

  5. 28:07
    I assume it's a name, but I don't understand PERCYBYSSHELLEY (Percy Bysshe Shelley?). I suppose I could Google it. Well, that's done now. It is a name. That said, this took a little while longer for me to complete than at least two of you (combined, even). Let's see...NUDE, WHOOPIES (whoopie?), CANE (S&M?) and LICK for Huygens material. Also, nice to see LSD and ZAPPA in there, although the man was against such things, surviving mostly on coffee and nicotine (or not surviving, as it turns out). Well, a nice puzzle, and thanks all for the trivia on ADA. I read a biography of Turing, but it didn't delve into too much information on that girl.