Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014, Joel Fagliano

Season's Greetings

I think it took quite a bit of ESPRIT (97D. Lively intelligence) to come up with today's theme answers, especially my favorite, 117A. Stuff your dad finds ridiculous? (HOKUMTOPAPA). That clue is quite a stretch, but it works and it entertains. Many of the other theme-related material had enjoyably unusual parts to them: HOKEY, HOEDOWN, HOBO, and DINGER. I noted two additional theme-related clues in the grid - kind of a meager haul. At least there wasn't any coal. :)
88A. "It came __ a Midnight Clear" (UPON)
46D. Some Christmas decorations (HOLLIES)
There were a few other answers I enjoyed:

7a. Without a mixer (NEAT) - right in my wheelhouse because I take my drinks neat, like my men.
30A. Majors in acting (LEE) - six million dollar answer.
96A. Seeks change (BEGS) - See, change can also mean coins, or money.
110A. Where the big buoys are? (OCEAN) - Ha!
13D. Return to one's seat? (REELECT) - Nice one.

I learned a few things about Italian word origins from Mr. Fagliano. He included two food-related items of interest:
38A. Sauce with a name derived from the Italian for "pounded" (PESTO)
77D. Pasta with a name derived from the Italian for "quills" (PENNE)

I did have a few quibbles:
70A. Soon gonna (ABOUTTO) - the informal nature of the clue doesn't match the answer.
102A. What vinegar has a lot of (USES) - I can name quite a few other things that have a lot of uses.
103A. Proctor's charge (TESTEES) - this one was wrong on several levels, as I'm sure you are all aware.

I have to sign off now - my Pad THAI (45A. (noodle dish)) has arrived!

~ Frannie

1 comment:

  1. 41:47
    I always like a mention of a BARSCENE, having hopped about Clinton's this past Saturday. And what about the NAIR/BVDS stack over in the NE? Pretty racy, right? Maybe not. Of the theme answers I loved BLACKEYEDHOPIS and CROSSHOBO the best. And although I'm in the business, I needed many crosses to get STATEPEN out of 123A "The Shawshank Redemption" setting. Anyway, I must agree that USES is weak.