Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014, Matt Ginsberg


Frannie figured out the title, which refers (we think) to the idea of using the remote to change the channel away from commercials. In other words, to "zap" "ad"s. Does that sound right to you? Personally, we never use the term "zap" to mean change channels, or use the remote, or whatever it means, but I guess we've heard it.

So anyway, the ADs are not included in the Across answers. Well, they can be, and they make a normal phrase, but if they're removed, they fulfill the definition given in the clue. BRO[AD]MINDED for example, is a known phrase, but BROMINDED answers the clue "19A: Focused on one's fellow fraternity members?" in an amusing way. Some are not so funny, like IRISHBALL[AD] (24A: Dublin dance?), but I guess more are funny than are not so. 

It took us a while to finish this, and we ended in the CLARA (10A: Pianist Schumann, early champion of Brahms) quadrant, which is a bit sad, because CLARA was the second answer I put into the grid (ADDS (1A: Interjects) was first), but it was taken out midway through, for one reason or another. Maybe because we tried "stat" for RUSH (13D: "A.S.A.P."), but whatever the reason, it was a bad one. There's a HORUS sculpture in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum that is pretty much my favorite piece of art in the place, but I didn't know until now that he was an 21A: Egyptian war god. I mean, I knew he was Egyptian, but war? C'mon Horus!

So let's see… ELUCIDATES (111A: Clarifies) is nice, and ZLOTYS (61A: Polish capital) (why oh why did I even bother with "Warsaw" in there?) reminds me of when Frannie's sister and her college boyfriend were traveling in Eastern Europe, because I remember the boyfriend saying it was always good to have a lot of zlotys on your person in case the public stalls were out of toilet paper. I guess the exchange rate was favorable back then.

I liked the symmetrical snark at 69D: Major annoyances (ROYALPAINS) and 16D: "Well, fine" (BELIKETHAT). Didn't know EDESSA (95D: Ancient Macedonian capital), or TONYMARTIN (72D: Singer whose "I Get Ideas" was on the charts for 30 weeks), and probably a few other things, but overall this seemed like a pretty good Sunday.

- Horace


  1. I would call this a difficult and not very fun Sunday puzzle. The theme is bewildering. I don't see what the zapping is. Maybe you're right, I don't know. Regardless, the answers just aren't that funny, are they? FOLLOWTHELE[AD]ER and BRO[AD]MINDED are the only two that elicit a quirk of the lips. And to make matters worse, there were far too many unknown proper nouns crossing unknown proper nouns. ADANO crossing ANA. Z[AD]ORA crossing ZLOTYS (although at least that clue is clever), CANNA crossing COCAS, CHARO crossing HAYS. Yes, we figured them all out in the end, but it wasn't enjoyable.

    CLARA was one of the first answers I put in as well, and didn't give up on it when I couldn't put "stat" in, because I knew it to be true, Brahms lover that I am. Yes, over all, these clues and answers were ROYALPAINS (unnecessary S).

  2. DNF (82:49)
    I stared and stared at the Z[AD]ORA/ZLOTYS and OOCYTE/LOC crosses for at least forty minutes. Terrible. The remainder of the puzzle was fine, though, as Colum says, not too fun or funny. And a rebus again on an unconventional day? Odd. CLARA and HORUS went right in (also a Brahms fan, and remember the excellent movie starring Katharine Hepburn, "Song of Love" from 1947). Anyway, not much else. BTW, I think that the current pope has decided against wearing REDSHOEs, but I'm not certain.