Saturday, November 1, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014, Trip Payne


Wow, what a great finish to the week! It was a good old-fashioned stumper that we passed back and forth while sitting on the couch drinking espresso, then, an hour or more later, tea. It wasn't until well past the hour mark, when we had all of the trick questions, that we finally hit upon the solution to the clues. BATTLEFIELD (19A: 81 ÷ 27), for example, requires you to look at clues 81 and 27, which are PLACE (81A: Cul-de-sac, in some addresses) and WAR (27A: It's conducted in a theater), resulting in "war place" or, BATTLEFIELD. Why division in this case? I don't know. In another case, it's more clear - GROSSPROFIT (33 - 21) is NETSALES - COSTS, and REPEATEDLY (63A: 56 x 42) can be seen as multiplying MANY (many, many) and OVER (over and over). Maybe BATTLEFIELD is a place divided by war. OK, that works for me, and makes this already good puzzle even stronger.

There were "many, many" entertaining clues today, like 88A: Wind stopper (BEANO), 91A: Lay low? (INTER), 22A: Bee relative (OPIE) - tricky!, 9D: Turn down a raise? (FOLD), 20D: Cut from a log, maybe (ERASE), 45D: Change the plot of (REMAP), 68D: Like boxers (CANINE), 31D: #1 fans (EGOTISTS) … so many good ones!

We didn't know CAIMAN (7D: South American reptile), or NELLE (37D: ____ Porter, "Ally McBeal" role) (Really? Ally McBeal?), and it took us forever to remember MEATBALLS (29D: 1979 comedy set at Camp North Star), but I'm actually pretty proud of us for forgetting it so thoroughly.

Overall, a very satisfying Saturday.

- Horace


  1. 1:13:58
    Yes, a tough one. We did not figure out the "theme" until reading this, although you'd think after getting the mega-revealer last week in, like, two minutes we would have been all over it. Still, I like it.

    And yeah, why did MEATBALLS take so long for us to get, too? Not that great a movie, perhaps. I did know CAIMAN, although I had it spelled with a Y for a little while. I didn't like TATA as a "Checkout line." I kept wanting to put in OBIT or something, but USAIN Bolt was the first thing entered and there is not doubting that one. I particularly liked EGOTISTS for "#1 fans."

  2. 1:19:57. Wow! A huge amount of effort required by multiple family members to get this one. I had entered NEUTROGENA without any clue what that had to do with 147 (61 + 86), until Hope pointed out that 61A was PERT, and that was a shampoo. Just from that, I was able to enter GROSSPROFIT and REPEATEDLY even with only one of the two hint answers entered for the former. Still took me 30 minutes to get the rest entered. Last letter entered was the E in ELATE (1A).

    I entered the puzzle with ASHE, then USAIN, then MEATBALLS immediately. Come on, guys! "It just doesn't matter!" The greatest pep talk of all time. I'm surprised Horace didn't give a shout-out to CICERO. INTER is very well clued, and I would never have gotten OPIE off that clue, as I never watched that show. I love, love, love the clue for BEANO. Don't love LARAM, but oh, well.

  3. BTW, Horace, the clue is "MANY times OVER" for REPEATEDLY, and "PLACE divided by WAR" for BATTLEFIELD. The other two are "NETSALES less COSTS" and "PERT RIVAL", the least interesting because the mathematical operation is not overtly part of the clue.

  4. I take it back. Apparently "Pert plus" is a brand of shampoo, so the clue is "PERT plus RIVAL." Much better.