Monday, December 8, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014, Paul Hunsberger


Kind of an odd theme, of circled letters forming words that are parts of a SHOE (67A: Item depicted by this puzzle's circled letters), and also in the shape of a shoe. With a bonus piece of GUM for it to step on. I like it! Very nice, indeed.

I'm sure doing this kind of thing puts restrictions on the rest of the fill, but here it doesn't seem to suffer too much. Well, ok. It suffers a little. I do not like AIRCON (47A: House cooler, for short), ODO (36A: Lead-in to meter), or EERS (35A: Plural suffix with musket), and having OSOLE (53A: "____ Mio") and RESOLE (56A: Fix, as a cobbler might) on the same row looks odd, but, obviously, it's necessary for the theme, so what are you going to do?

I like the pair of Caesar clues - 10A: Caesar's last gasp? (ETTU) and 14A: One was renamed in Caesar's honor (MONTH) (very nice), and there's interesting trivia in 6A: They're about 1 in 650,000 for drawing a royal flush (ODDS) and 13D: Guns first used in the Suez Crisis (UZIS). And maybe it's just me, but I kind of like DEUCED (29A: Doggone, quaintly). That's supposed to have two syllables, don't you think? "Deuce-ed?"

You know, the more I look at this, the more odd stuff I find. I've never heard of DLEAGUE (7D: N.B.A. farm system, informally), for instance, and EEN (42A: Poet's twilight) and LST (46A: D-Day craft: Abbr.) aren't all that great… I guess it all comes down to theme today. I liked it, so I'm willing to overlook a lot. Sometimes it goes that way.

- Horace


  1. 12:41
    I think DEUCED is one syllable. AIRCON was by far my least favorite; no one says that. EQUAL/QUIZ was a nice cross, EGGCELL was good, EDNAS was nice, mostly because it mentions the Millay variety. I even liked INTHEEVENT (3D Supposing (that)), as well as HERNIA, DOODLER (40A Quick Sketch artist?) and DEVALUED (41D Like weak currencies). All-in-all, a good Tuesday, and quickly blogged!

  2. 4:49. The theme is cute, the GUM[BO] funny. EERO crossing EERS is not great, but I see where it was forced by the theme. I think EGGCELL is forced, as is ATHEEL. ACCRUED is a nice word. It was fine, and certainly did not take much time to finish.