Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday, November 2, 2014, Brendan Emmett Quigley

BP Station

Well, this one has it all, doesn't it? From hidden capitals (1A. Chase things, briefly? (CDS)) to answers that are specific letters in the clue (113A. Dramatic ending? (CEE)) that dupe us every time, to clever theme answers. In sum, we had a pall with this one. My favorite theme answer was 79A. Admonishment to someone eating off your plate at a Polynesian restaurant? (THATSMYPOI), although I can imagine a slightly stronger admonishment coming from Huygens if anyone tried that on him. :)

Speaking of Huygens, I thought of him when I entered PLANETS for 69A. Subject of the mnemonic "My very eager mother just served us nachos". I've never heard that one before, but when I said the first letters out loud to myself, the answer jumped out at me. NEPTUNE is in there, too, for good measure (17D. Astronomical body after which element #93 is named). Plus 115A. ___ Major (URSA). In addition to the above-metioned celestial bodies, there was a little traditional Huygens material as well. 36A. James Joyce's "Ulysses," per a 1921 court decision (SMUT). I wonder if Huygens would include 31A. Baby with a bow (AMOR) in his category.

Speaking of categories, did anyone else notice a rather elevated number of clue 'sets' as I am calling them? Two or more clues with a similar topic base, as above (planets), also terriers (125A. __ terrier (SKYE) and 68D. Certain terrier, informally (WESTIE). If we want to expand that category to dogs, we can include 7D. Hunting dog (BORZOI). I submit quoted expressions as another such category: 39A. "Down in front (ICANTSEE), 75A. "All right already!" (LETITGO), and 76D. "Oh ... come  ... on! (GEEZ). We could further refine that category to quoted expressions indicating annoyance, but that might be putting too fine a point on it. Other sets: Shakespeare 37A. Juliet's combative cousin in "Romeo and Juliet" (TYBALT) and 72A. When Prospero makes his entrance (SCENETWO); Billys: 61A. Melville's "Billy ___" (BUDD) and 78A. Billy of "Titanic" (ZANE); Cards: 120A. Low draw (ONEONE) and the theme answer 85A. What's promising about a K-K-Q-Q-J-J-7 rummy hand? (THETHREEPAIRS); Children: 55A. Waterway of Western Australia? (PERTHCANAL) 41D. Rare birth (TRIPLET) and 92D. Toddler (TINYTOT).

Speaking of AMOR, there were a couple of answers I didn't love, but only a couple. One was 28A. Middle ground, for short. I thought DMZ was on the very fringe of an acceptable interpretation of the clue. And, 96A. Brother's home (CLOISTER). Don't ask me why I didn't like it, I don't know. I just didn't. Also, shouldn't 22A. Ruthless Wall Street sort be trader instead of RAIDER? (Ha!)

We finished in a PLAY[S]OFGLORY with the final L in 77D. William __ + Co. (brokerage) crossed with 99A. Jane of "Frasier". We didn't know either answer, but it FITTED (116A. Like some sheets).



  1. A very nice Sunday, with a great review, Frannie. This is the way Sundays ought to be. THETHREEPAIRS and PERTHCANAL are beautiful.

  2. Frannie, and what about the fine ERUPT and ZIT "set"?