Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014, Evan Birnholz


This was a satisfying Friday themeless puzzle. There were some very nice long answers, such as OKTOBERFEST (19A: Annual event held in the Theresienwiese), PLOTTWISTS (9D: Thickening agents?) (as in, "the plot thickens!"), FINISHLINE (28D: This is the end), KEEPITREAL (22A: Slangy goodby), and, of course, LEDZEPPELIN (46A: Their best-selling (23x platinum) album had no title), which I entered without crosses. There was a high entertainment value in many of the clues, too, as in 48A: Series of drug-related offenses? (THEWIRE), 28A: All hits all the time (FIGHT), 43A: Influential figure in upward mobility? (ELISHAOTIS), 30D: Tree huggers? (VINES), 26D: It has points of interest (LOAN), 1D: Start to play? (ACTONE), and, of course, 25D: Fictional corporation that made a jet-propelled unicycle (ACME). And that's just some of the good clues!

There was very little that raised our hackles. Maybe AEROS (44D: Planes, quaintly) wasn't the greatest, and sure, there were a few names we didn't know - FEHR (19D: N.H.L. players' representative Donald), JONI (34D: Iowa politico Ernst), YENTE (45D: Broadway character who sings "The Rumor"), and ELAM (24D: Land east of Babylonia) (above), but that's a failing on our part, not the puzzle's.

HIJINKS (32A: Tomfoolery) is a great word, SALTINE (41A: Square snack) brings back fond memories of chicken soup and childhood, and we appreciate the nod to our home town in 3D: Common ground? (BOSTON). Overall, this was a very good Friday.

- Horace


  1. 28:58
    What, your hometown is Boston? I thought it was Scranton, or one of the other of those Pennsylvania burgs, and Newton, or one of the other of those Boston 'burbs. Isn't YENTE from "Fiddler on the Roof"? Anyway, I also (in addition to the above) enjoyed 18A Robert Goulet, e.g. (CROONER), WILCO (for obvious reasons, though it could have been clued slightly differently to make a pairing with LEDZEPPELIN, which I, too, filled in without crosses), and the "Talk show V.I.P's" / "Talk show V.I.P." pairing of SIDEKICKS and BOOKER, respectively. I wasn't crazy about 41D Time Lords on "Doctor Who," e.g. (ALIENS). Good, quick Friday.

  2. Horace's hometown is Boston. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    And I meant to mention Goulet being characterized as a CROONER, which I thought erroneous. Could you really call what he did "crooning?"