Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014, David Phillips


A very smooth Saturday. A couple of gimmes to get the ball rolling (MARIANO (17A: 19-season Yankee Rivera) & ANAHEIM (5D: Home to "The Happiest Place on Earth")) and we were well on our way! Frannie and I passed it back and forth in a relaxed way, ending up in the tricky SE with ADAK (56D: Alaskan island or its principal town) and ADAWARE (59A: Popular pop-up preventer). We took an educated guess on the D and got it right. Yippee!

Loved 33D: Limited expense? (TRAINFARE), 63A: Big name in air circulation? (SKYMALL), HOTTOTROT (12D: Turned on), MAPLELEAF (8D: 11-pointed national symbol), 57D: Pre-texts? (IMS), and VEHEMENCY (34D: Fire). Also enjoyed the pair of "Batting targets" clues resulting in PINATAS and PITCHES. SLAKE (21A: Assuage) and its clue are both lovely words, as are FERAL and 37A: Savage.

We tried OIL/paint at first, of course, for OIL/COLOR (27A: With 46-Down, common canvas coater), and frankly, what is "oil color?" Isn't that really oil paint? So that wasn't great, but there wasn't much else to complain about. Sure, some obscure stuff like KLOSS (7D: Supermodel Karlie), SNELL (52D: Tackle box accessory), and MALTHUS (8A: Economist who wrote "An Essay on the Principle of Population," in 1798), but that's just the kind of thing you're supposed to run into on a Saturday. That and ATARAXY (41D: Serene calmness). And furthermore, we loved ETERNAL (15A: Like Rome, supposedly). And AMOROSO (16A: How one might play a love ballad). And SAIL (54D: Junk mover). HAH! Excellent.

- Horace


  1. 19:09, completed with my brother. MARIANO was easy, and the NE went smoothly. I like BRICKOVEN. MTVMOVIEAWARDS and GRANDTHEFTAUTO/III are slightly out of date, but nice long entries. VEHEMENCY feels like it should be VEHEMENCE. ATARAXY was a new one to us, and each entry felt like it had to be carefully reviewed in the SE because of that. It didn't help that SNELL and ADAK were completely unknowns. I enjoyed this puzzle overall.

  2. 55:44
    I didn't know either MARIANO or KLOSS, but the crosses allowed me to get them. OIL/COLOR was terrible. And the SE, with LARSSON and ADAWARE crossing ATARAXY was very difficult indeed. Cheap plural with HEMPS (1D Some rope sources). Anyway, I guess it was a fine Saturday.