Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014, Joe Krozel


After the first couple gimmes - THETOP (1A: Where it's lonely at, it's said) and CABS (7A: Semi parts) - I found it difficult to get much else of substance on my first pass through, and the theme remained completely opaque to me. Luckily, Frannie was able to fill in about 70 percent of the grid, working methodically from top left to bottom right, and she broke the theme with MISSINGPERSON (26A: Su____ic). "Supersonic." I had been thrown off by the use of four underscores, even though that's the same convention we use in this blog for any amount of missing material. Tricky, though, isn't it? Well, it was to me.

When I took it over again, I put in FORFEITEDnAME for 91A: Li____nt, which seemed to work pretty well, but which made GUESSNOT (93D: "So much for that") difficult to work out. Another cross through that word - NONONO (124A: "That's completely wrong, you idiot!") was one that I thought of immediately, but waited to enter until I had a little backup.

So overall, we enjoyed the theme. The clues look a little weird, though, like 50A: ____t (UNUSEDMINUTES). I mean, what is that? … but if you just let it wash over you, it's a fine theme, and a decent execution.

LENOS (25A: Host Jay and family) was a little weak, but there aren't too many other cheap shots. Well, maybe PARTVI (42A: "Friday the 13th" sequel subtitled "Jason Lives"). Wasn't the whole title actually "Friday the 13th, Part VI" and not just "Part VI?" Meh.

Wanted "Mad Libs" for HANGMAN (35D: Fill-in-the-blanks activity), and again, in Hangman the exact number of blanks is important, whereas in Mad Libs, it's just one blank for an entire word. Oh well.

I liked the obscure clue for MEANINGS (24A: Imports), and 17D: Apple picker's pick? (IPODNANO) was pretty tricky! Finally, are they really putting ALOEVERA into drinks now? No more "lotion ingredient" clues?

I guess I sound like I'm complaining a lot here, but we enjoyed it overall. A nice challenging Sunday.

- Horace


  1. Definitely one of the more challenging Sundays I've done in a while. I liked the theme: none of the answers were gimmes, even once the trick was figured out. But at the same time, there was very little zing in the fill or in the cluing. I liked "Imports" (MEANINGS) as well, but not much else has stuck with me. I'd give it a qualified thumbs just slightly down.

  2. 68:27
    I agree that this ran a bit difficult compared with other Sunday puzzles lately. Although the clues weren't symmetrical, I liked seeing IPODNANO and LISTENED right next to each other. Also, we don't often get PEE (28A Political capital?) into a puzzle. I thought that 7D Group of like-minded thinkers (CAMP) was tricky, and quite enjoyed 11D Relative of a pound (KENNEL). But I'd not heard the term TIPROAST (88D Sirloin cut) prior to this puzzle.