Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014, Daniel Landman

DNF (0:19:53)

Cool theme today. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this in a normal M-W themed puzzle. The word RECORD is BROKEN (37A: With 40-Across, repeat offender? … or something found, literally, in four rows in this puzzle) across black squares. Twice it is broken across two words, twice across three words! Pretty snazzy.

This took me quite a while, and I ended up with a DNF because I did not know MOHEL (9A: Bris officiant) (tried "rabbi" to no avail). I also had "mOuSECAR" for HORSECAR (11D: Transportation in Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A.), and CORDS (19A: Parachute parts) was still floating somewhere up, away from my mind. Tried "pal" for MAC (9D: Buddy)… in short, it wasn't pretty.

The whole thing seemed a little on the hard side, with tricky clues like "51D: Way" for MANNER, and "48D: With bitterness" for ACIDLY.

Seeing RODCAREW (38D: Baseball Hall-of-Famer mistakenly listed in "The Chanukah Song" as a Jew) in there was fun, and it's interesting to get that correction printed. I looked on Wikipedia, and it claims Carew actually wrote Sandler to correct him, and Sandler later removed his name from the song when he sang it again.

SUMAC (5D: Poison ____) makes us think of the famous George Bernard Shaw anecdote - when he was asked "Did you know that "sugar" and "sumac" are the only two words in English which begin with "su" and are pronounced as "she?" He replied: "Sure!" Heh. As with most of those anecdotes, we hope it's true.

BATANEYE (37D: React, just barely) is nice. ENDORSED (12D: Backed) is good. RACIER (53A: Less likely to be G-rated) and TURNRED (7D: Flush) are a nice pair.

Overall, I liked the theme quite a bit. There's quite a bit of junk fill, but I still enjoyed the challenge. Sue me.

- Horace


  1. 23:35
    I knew MOHEL from Seinfeld and so didn't have the same troubles as Horace, though this did end up running a bit difficult for a Wednesday. I'd not heard of TEAMO (49A Mexican cigar brand), but like it ("Te amo" of course). I thought that 24A Geographical name that's another geographical name backward (EIRE) was a great clue for that oft-seen answer. 58A Uptight, informally (ANAL) is being seen too often, even for me. As far as SUMAC goes, we always pronounced it as "soo'mak" which is the first pronunciation in the dictionary at my desk at work here. Nice challenge for a Wednesday, and may I say, it's nice to be back after a couple of disruptive weekends away. I should be pretty steady now until February.

  2. 9:48. Meh. Good theme, but, gah, the fill is horrendous. I like the clue for 1A, but the abbreviation (ADV) is a foreshadowing of how BROKEN the puzzle is. DECI PSSTS PPD SPEE INGE RDAS ESOS SRS PEREC. I could go on. Nuff said.