Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014, Joel Fagliano


A notice appears, when solving today's crossword in the iPad App, warning that certain elements of the puzzle cannot be reproduced in Across Lite. We are instructed to use the PDF, or one of the other electronic versions. I am not using Across Lite, but I could not understand what elements of this puzzle could not be reproduced, so, perhaps still stinging a bit from missing yesterday's lovely touch, I went and looked at The Crossword Fiend to see if I missed something again today. Reader, I did, but it cannot be blamed on my ignorance this time. In the print version, apparently, there were no "Down" or "Across" indications, so that the first clue "Corn or Cotton" was just given a "1," and it was up to you to decide whether it was across or down. On the iPad, the clue was given for 1A, and 1D had a "-." That first clue should probably have given it away, as it seems unlikely that one of the two would be simply unclued, but, well… maybe I just had it easy with that "-." As it happened, it was 15: Homer Simpson's workplace (POWER/PLANT) that gave it away for me, then I quickly went back and filled in CASH/CROP for 1. It was a cute theme, and well executed, but man, it unravelled pretty quickly once I caught on to the "two-way" thing.

Plenty of enjoyable stuff in the fill - YOLK (35A: White's counterpart), SKINNYDIP (63A: Be unsuited?), RAKE (67A: Be a fall guy?), and OEDS (43A: Meaningful sets, for short?). Sets full of meanings. HA! I've been writing a few haiku recently, so 52D: "An old silent pond / A frog jumps into the pond / Splash! Silence again," e.g. (HAIKU) was nice. And I like the name ARAPAHO (58A: Buffalo hunters, once).

There was nothing much that was objectionable, and there was a lot of theme material. Quite a nice grid, really. Just went maybe a tad quick for a Thursday.

- Horace


  1. 17:16
    Yes, fast indeed. I solve in Across Lite, but don't mind the minor problem noted above. I starred 35A White's counterpart (YOLK) and 41A Org. with an antipiracy stance (MPAA). OEDS was quite nice, as, of course, was SKINNYDIP. I didn't think that Horace would have enjoyed 58D Leader of a race? (ADAM), but I thought he'd acknowledge it.

  2. 12:00, FWOE because I entered HEMo instead of HEMA, and didn't realize that PARoSKI was not a thing. In my defense, I think the o- version is more used (hemostat, hemogram, hemophilia, etc.), while the a- version usually has a -to after it (hematology, etc.).

    I felt the theme was... thin. Yeah, I see it, but essentially uninteresting. Basically, we have two word answers where the first letter is shared. The lengths of the words are not part of it, and there's nothing "meta" about the choices. And, after all, 1A and 1D always share the same first letter, along with any number of other places in a standard grid. So what?

    And frankly, there's not even much else in the puzzle that is that interesting. And TWEEDLE? It's not even in the American Heritage DIctionary (although I did find out that Tweedledee and Tweedledum were rival fiddlers, so some etymology there).

    Thumbs down. I expect more from Thursday.

  3. 17:25
    FWOE. We're with the doctor and if he says HEMO, then it's a real stretch.

    But Doc,
    He rocks in the treetop all day long
    Hoppin' and a boppin' and a singin' his song