Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014, Kevin G. Der and Ian Livengood


Boy, this started out easy as pie - mostly on the east side - and then it ground down to a halt on the west. POTFARMS (1A: Where much grass grows) took a few crosses, for instance, and STARBASE (17A: Enterprise headquarters) took far longer than it should have! 19A: Place for a sucker (TENTACLE) was great, and ABBA (5D: Ones repeating "I do" in 1976?) was also fun. My only quibble with the NW is that I usually think of TRANK (3D: One delivering a knockout, informally) as being spelled with a Q.

The SW took the bulk of our time on this one, but as I look at it now, the downs just look so obvious! I mean, PARTYTRAY (27D: Caterer's preparation)?! We were making things for a PARTYTRAY as we were doing this one! Frannie's family holiday party was this afternoon! But could we think of it? No. My favorite in that area was the last one we entered - APLENTY (35A: In abundance). I needed every cross for that one. Honestly. (Did I mention that I was fighting a cold this week?…)

On the other hand, things on the other side, even things like DOCILITY (31A: Tameness), IGUANA (16A: Creature with a crest), UNODUETRE (13D: Italian count?) and CROSSWORDS (56A: Cross words?) went right in with a cross or two. Sometimes it goes that way.

Overall, a decent challenge.

- Horace


  1. 23:40, with Cece and Hope helping all the way. The NW started slowly, like with you guys. I put in "Colorado" for 1A. Too bad it wasn't true. PASTA and AFRO---- went in quickly, as did ANKH, but I moved away after getting REACHINTO with no crosses, and then spread down through MUNG, ____GOOD, and DAUPHIN into the SE corner. Horace, it would have been unusual to say the least if the answer to 56A: Cross words? really turned out to be CROSSWORDS, but in fact it was HATEMAIL, which I liked. DOOM and MOLIERE were gimmes, which enabled UNODUETRE, PALEODIET and ___SLAYER. I agree that the SW was the hardest section. I don't much like YESYES. What is that? But PLAYMATES is lovely, and a reference to Figaro (the opera) is welcome in any puzzle. Fun times.

  2. Errr… right. HATEMAIL. That was a good one. Did I mention that I'd been sick?…


  3. 55:55
    I've never heard of AFROBEAT, and I loved DOCILITY. Colum, I, too, put cOlorado in for 1A at first. I liked that both WICCA and ___SLAYER appear in the NE (have I mentioned I'm watching all of the "Buffy" series?). Finally, I, too, loved the FIgaro clue, but it took many crosses to get OPERAROLE. Challenging Saturday, just the way it should be.

  4. I put in ABBA without hesitation. For better or worse 1976 is my musical wheelhouse.