Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014, Kevin Christian


What a lovely, lovely puzzle. The grid itself is pleasing, there were plenty of fun, interesting, and amusingly clued words, and, well… we loved it!

Let's start with BUTTDIAL (12D: Call from the rear?). That's just beautiful. Add to that JONESING (1A: Having a big itch) (gross), EMOTICON (15A: Sideways look?) (lovely), STREAMED (14D: Like music on Pandora radio), LOCAVORE (57A: Farmers' market frequenter, maybe), and a few others, and you've got a thoroughly modern puzzle.

It's not often you encounter the singular THROE (51A: Paroxysm), and we tried "Clark" instead of KASEM (19A: Late legend in countdowns) at first, and tried "Op Cit" instead of ETSEQ … and HELENA (34A: Home of minor-league baseball's Brewers) was unknown to us, but these things were not really problems. I suppose I could make some throat-clearing noises about ANITAS (59A: Novelist Shreve and others) being a gratuitous plural, or PANED (28D: Like many mirrors) being a bit of a stretch, but things like GAY (33D: Like the out crowd?), GNEISS (8D: Rock with colored bands) (Gem & Mineral show tomorrow!), and PROUST (16A: "Swann's Way" novelist) (gimme alert!) make me quickly forget the problems.

Two more things, FAYS (31A: Elves, in poetry) makes me think of Keats - "… And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,/Cluster'd 'round by all her starry Fays … ). And tomalley is not a delicacy to all who enjoy LOBSTER.

That is all.

- Horace


  1. 18:24. What a lovely puzzle indeed. Four excellent trios of 8-letter answers in each corner, with nary an issue with any of them (INDIANAN is the weakest, but since it crosses ARIZONA, what more can you ask for?). I'll put out the usual snort at ESAS, but that's the only answer I could have done without. CDT is saved by the nice clue, which would have been infinitely harder if the capital had been hidden ("Card games setting, frequently," for example). And that clue was nicely set off by 24D: Giants' environs (BAYAREA) and 32A: Heat loss, maybe? (NBAGAME), two excellent examples of hidden capitals that did not fool me for too long.

    I also liked the modern feel, especially STREAMED and LOCAVORE. Very nice Friday, which together with yesterday's Z extravaganza makes a nice setup for tomorrow, I trust.

  2. DNF
    I worked on this for around 45 minutes, having filled in the vast bulk of the puzzle in 26:40, but the SW wasn't going to come in. Oh well, it happens.