Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014, Jim Peredo

"Well, Golly!"

While some of the theme answers were entertaining, I found the title not very representative of the actual substitutions required. In my experience "Golly" starts with a hard "g" sound (IPA symbol /g/), but the theme answers all require the /dʒ/ sound, as in judge (although we could argue about 52A. Strange pond scum? (WEIRDALGAE). So, unless the author was going for what would normally be spelled "Well, Jolly!", perhaps as a nod to the current holiday season, the title sounds a false note.

This inexactness contributed to my overall disaffection for the puzzle as a whole. Right out of the gate, with 1A, we have Bed cover, for which Mr. Peredo wants us to enter LINEN. Not impossible, but uncommon in terms of the fabric itself as a bed cover, and the more generic term is usually plural: bed linens. Another such example shows up at 49A. Orbitz offering: CARRENTAL. It's true you can rent a car from Orbitz, but it's not what I consider a signature feature of the service. There are many companies from which you can rent a car, and many other things you can use Orbitz for. And my least favorite of these vague pairs was 38D. Some queenly attire (WHITEGLOVES). Sure, some queens wear white gloves (although a quick search for images of queens on the Google reveals very few gloved hands among the royal portraits, and one instance of black gloves), but so do debutantes and butlers. And, queens wear many other, more salient, items of clothing such as crowns. I'm not saying that these clue and answer pairs are wrong, just that they don't embody the oh-so-right finesse that is a beautiful part of puzzling. For a puzzle that epitomizes the fine cluing I enjoy, please see the November 23rd. NYT puzzle. I could go on, but I won't.

There were some enjoyable clues. I did like 29A. Tofurky to turkey, e.g. (ANALOGUE), and  60D. End of a famous boast: VICI. But, as I entered many of the answers, I often sighed to myself, "good grief."

~ Frannie


  1. I think that we just need to think of the substitution as saying the letter "g" in there, not necessarily the sound of the "g" in "golly." Of the theme answers, I had the most trouble with GPSILOVEYOU, since I so wanted AANDP as the middle of the GPS. I didn't know STIEG and had to get the crosses. My favorite was GENIEJERKREACTION. I loved the "tofurkey" clue; as you know, that is what we enjoy on Thanksgiving at the YBH. PENTAD, the related answer to AEIOU, was nice. I'd written in vowels at first, but of course, that's completely wrong. I enjoyed the puzzle. I can't put a time on it because I signed off of my computer to prepare for the work-week for a while, not knowing that the timer keeps going, so when I returned to the puzzle, the timer stood at 99:59. The real time is probably closer to 50 minutes, not that anyone cares.

  2. Didn't love this. Kind of got bored and left it unfinished. I think the point of the theme is to add the exclamation "Gee" or it's sound equivalent to well-known phrases, etc. etc.