Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, Adam G. Perl


A solid Tuesday. Solid-looking, too, what with all those fives stacked together, and a few long answers tying things together. The theme is one I enjoy - a common expression given a new definition. Mundane PLOTPOINTS become "36A: What mathematicians do?" … ok, that's still mundane, but it's hard to tart up math, isn't it? How about HANDLEBARS becoming "42A: What bouncers do?" That's a little better. You've got bikes, which are great, and bars, which can also be good.

Let's move on. My favorite entry might be HITTHEROOF (32D: Go ballistic), because it reminds me of my sister, who likes to warn of that happening. VANNA (35D: Woman who has a way with words?) had me stumped for way too long, as did LAVA (38A: Slow flow), so that area was the last to get finished. Can you blame me, though? Lava doesn't always flow slowly, but I know they're thinking of the oozing that you always see in those nature documentaries, not the fast-acting killing machine that results from a violent explosion.

And speaking of lava, there's some stuff I wouldn't mind throwing into a volcano, like IWO, AMAIN, NITRE, and ALERO. There's some ancient stuff, too, like BRENDA (52A: Starr of old comics) (Remember Basil St. John and his black orchids? No? I'm not surprised…), ALVA, BENJI, LARA, and TELEX. Still, though, I enjoyed this on the whole. Maybe it was the theme, maybe it was things like SMUSH (47A: Squeeze, informally), maybe it's just that I don't have very high standards for a Tuesday.

- Horace


  1. 9:51
    I remember Basil, and agree with HITTHEROOF and your candidates for the LAVA. I've actually starred quite a bit on today's puzzle as being quite good (the reason for the extra 15 seconds?), PLOTPOINTS being the first; I guess the excitement associated with an activity is in the eye of the beholder. There was a chance for some Huygens material at 68A were it not for the clue (Put up > ERECT). We just had ARTOO over the weekend, and there was yet another missed opportunity at 27D Total idiots (ASSES). Finally, I hope that I never again ride in a plane that needs the service associated with 54D Clear for takeoff? (DEICE); terrible and unnerving to watch.

  2. 8:29. I got off on the wrong foot by entering BANDShellS for 4D, which seems just a little off in retrospect, but I was thinking of the Esplanade and the Hatch Shell. I like the theme: all four are well carried out, with HANDLEBARS definitely the best, but PLOTPOINTS a near second, IMO. But then, somehow, the fill should have been much better, especially with only four theme answers. HEHE? SERRA? AMAIN?!?! I initially had OCHreS and NITer, which just shows how bad it is. The best of the fill is in the the NE and SW corners with the two phrases GIVE AWAY and DOWN EAST. On the plus side, there's SUBTEXT, which is very nice.