Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014, Jeff Chen


Who doesn't love ATLAS (102D: Mythological figure hinted at by the answers to the eight starred clues as well as this puzzle's design)? Nobody. And I guess by "this puzzle's design," they mean to imply that the central circle is meant to represent Earth. I guess that's fine, but the same puzzle could probably have been used with a Sisyphus theme. But I'm not complaining, I love all the theme material. There's the straightforward stuff - PILLAROFSTRENGTH (16D: *Comfort provider during difficult times) and WEIGHTOFTHEWORLD (37D: *Crushing burden), and then there's some humorous stuff SUPPORTINGACTOR (23A: *One who's not leading) and UPPERBACKPAIN (100A: *What a massage may relieve). Very nice.

The fill is good, too, with gems like SCATHES (27A: Excoriates), BEERSTEIN (43D: Something handled in a bar), REDLETTER (38D: Having special significance), DEEPWEB (78A: Content that's hard for a search engine to access), and my candidate for "clue of the week" - 7D: It's been shortening since 1911 (CRISCO). That alone would have made this puzzle all right by me.

Loved it.

- Horace


  1. 47:34
    I'd never heard of DEEPWEB, but I just read an article in the Sunday Business section (of the Telegram) that mentions it a few times. Strange. The SE took around 20 minutes of my total time because YALTA, NYET, ROBOTSUMO, LOUD and TAME all came far too slowly. Interesting how the "Earth" is completely cut off from the rest of the puzzle universe in the design. It was odd seeing TEESHIRT spelled out like that (usually "TSHIRT" in puzzles). I liked 68A Paws (MITTS), METRIC, SCATHES, SLEIGH (timely) and ESCAPADE, as well as a great deal in addition to those examples. Oddly (I know that timing on Sundays is out), it took me a bit over 71 minutes to complete the Sunday Telegram puzzle, which is unusual.

  2. This was fine, as far as I'm concerned. I liked the theme material, but I did not like the center sphere for its lack of connection. I get the picture idea, but the difficulty level inside was far harder than that outside. Is that a reflection on the theme in some way? No, that would have been Sisyphus...