Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, Jeffrey Wechsler

10:52, FWTE

That's correct, finished with two errors. It all came about due to that very poor middle south section. I chose TENto instead of TENOF, a reasonable choice in my opinion. The crosses were helpful only in retrospect. Yes, I should have known that PLt (68A: Olso Accords Grp.) wasn't quite correct, but I forgot (once again) that the PLO were involved in the Oslo Accords. And OOo seemed reasonable, although OOF is clearly superior. Regardless, too much isolation for such blah fill. I mean, who clues HARPO with 54D: ____ Productions (Oprah Winfrey company)? And who cares about OCELO (55D: Big name in kitchen sponges)?

So maybe you've cottoned to the fact that there are some sour grapes going on in the Amory puzzle-solving world. But to be honest, this puzzle lacks something. It starts with the grid which has zero flow because each corner and middle section are almost completely isolated from each other. Then there's the theme with the less than scintillating reveal. I can see that each quartet of circled letters represents a "looped" LOOP, but where's the third looping? I guess it's that all of the quartets of circled letters are in a circle within the grid.

And then, we have to deal with all of the words with LP in them. POOLPUMP, CPL, ALP opposite ALPO, RALPH, PLO. RUMPLE and DIETPLAN are better on the whole than the preceding six. So what did I like? I liked the pair of Food for Fido, perhaps clues (SCRAPS and ALPO), and the matching pair of Toon dogs (one chihuahua, REN, a favorite; one beagle, ODIE, a major dislike). I liked the mention of Hugh LAURIE, an all-time favorite for his pre-House Britcom life.

Meh from me, once again proving that theme density is not a good trade-off for high-quality fill.

- Colum


  1. 16:59 (FWTE)
    ...for the exact same reason! This type of theme gives quite a bit away. I mean, as soon as the first two "LOOP"s were filled in, I filled in all of the others immediately. I, too, liked the two "Fido food" clues, but this is the first time that I heard of ODIE being a beagle. The famous cartoon beagle is Snoopy, not Odie. I thought that Horace and, especially, Frannie, would enjoy 9D Kiss and cuddle (CANOODLE) since they're so often seen in the midst of that activity. Of course, we probably won't know for some time; they're not known for quick purchases of items (router) since much research needs to go into it. Favorite: PINKO (12D Socialist, disparagingly).

  2. HAH!

    As it happens, and as you have perhaps now read, Verizon has offered to send us one, so we'll be back online before you know it!

    Now, back to canoodling!

  3. TENOF is NY/NE. TENto is mid-western.