Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014, Andrew J. Ries

"Don't Quit Your Day Job"

This was a bit of a disjointed solving experience, and the review might be affected. Negatively? Positively? It's too early to say for sure.

Frannie worked on this as we drove back from Western Mass. on the Pike, and found it a little tough to get started. The theme took a while to understand - I think it might have been one of the most obscure, BOBBYSHORT (90A: Cabaret pianist who would make a lousy electrician?), that was our first one. After that, NICOLASCAGE (57A: Action star who would make a lousy free-range farmer?) made sense, and then maybe JOHNNYROTTEN (33A: Punk rocker who would make a lousy grocer?). Oh, wait... maybe GLORIAALLRED (97A: Lawyer who would make a lousy anti-Communist leader?) is the most obscure. At least Bobby Short rings a faint, distant bell. Do people know who this woman is? Anyone?... Lastly, I want to say that it's nice that I learned the word "mohel" on Wednesday, otherwise 112A: Singer who would make a lousy mohel? (STEVIENICKS) (are women allowed to be mohels?) wouldn't have made any sense. As it is, I'm not really sure I like knowing the word now, because it forces me to understand the clue and consider the "nicks."

Moving on... the theme is fine, I guess. Let's look at the rest of it. As I look at it quickly, there are some good-looking words: JUXTAPOSE (108A: Set side by side), EMPHASIZE (25A: Spotlight), ARDENT (69A: Fiery), FATASAPIG (110A: More than plump) (!), BAUXITE (91D: Main source of aluminum). OK, that last one might be obscure to some, but Frannie asked me this one as I was driving and I gave the answer without any further information - number of letters, crosses, etc. Might be because Dad's a geologist, might be because I bought a hunk of it about thirty years ago at a rock & mineral show (see first part of this sentence)... anyway, I liked it. And heck, I even enjoyed SNEES (86A: Blades that sound like an allergic reaction) today (yeah, the pluralizing is weak) because we were driving back from a Gilbert and Sullivan show. Not Mikado, but still...

Anyway, where was I? I guess it was fine. We finished it. Plus, it has the name BAXTER in it, which was the name of our cat. Poor old guy.

So, ok, maybe it was negatively. Let's move on.

- Horace


  1. 1:06:43
    GLORIAALLRED is pretty famous. She always jumps in there where there's a controversial, high-profile case to grandstand. She often pro bonos it just for the publicity. BRAMSTOKER is an old favorite, as is WILLIAMHURT. I thought this was a fine theme, with good non-theme answers, too: 27A Who's there? (ATTENDEES); 35A Milk dispenser (TEET - good Huygens material); and the aforementioned FATASAPIG. I've never, by the way, heard of BOBBYSHORT.

  2. Not fond of this puzzle at all. I don't have it next to me, so the clues that annoyed me as I went through I can't recall, except for the one about "Residents eventually," (DRS). It was clever at first, until I remembered that residents are already doctors, having graduated from medical school. ("I didn't go to evil medical school to have people call me Mr...") But the nice thing was the other G&S reference: TESSA. All fitting for the day we say Yeomen.