Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014, Tom McCoy


Imagine my reaction when Horace handed me the puzzle and I figured out the theme answers. Authors' initials as chemical symbols is a dream come true for a library scientist such as myself. My number 1 was 58A. "The Island of Dr. Moreau" author, to a chemist? (MERCURYWELLS). The book is very good: super creepy and a real think piece. Read it if you haven't yet. I am guessing that 43A. "The Children of Men" author, to a chemist? (PALLADIUMJAMES) is a tribute to the recently departed novelist.

There were a number of other nice clues that tied in with the science theme. 44D. What gallium will do at about 86 degrees F (LIQUEFY), for example. I particularly enjoyed 25D. Notable current researcher (TESLA). A real joule.

49A. Highly draftable ... or a feature of the word "draft" (ONEA) has a nice seasonal ring to it for me as it's what we hear Mr. Potter saying over and over again in "It's a Wonderful Life" as he reviews draft registration papers. I also like any reference to NED Flanders (72A. TV neighbor of Homer).

Huygens probably liked 41A. U.S. island with a royal palace (OAHU). Also, 9D. BVDs, e.g. (DRAWERS) supplied a little traditional Huygens material. He might have also chuckled at the answer to 6D. Followed up after recon (DEBRIEFED). I know I did. 

I don't have much to say about the rest of the puzzle. I only see the early-in-the-week puzzles periodically, so I don't know if the fill is usually this elementary. Most of it seemed Rn of the mill to me.

Ta for now.

~ Frannie

Bonus thematic material:

Want to hear a joke about sodium? Na.
How about a joke about potassium? K!


  1. 26:34
    Well, I happen to be in the middle of MERCURYWELLS's "The Island of Dr. Moreau" at this very moment. Odd how that sometimes happens. I don't know some of the other theme references, though. LIQUEFY is a nice word and it was nice to see DYLAN in there. ROUNDEYED and DEBRIEFED (Huygens material fairly close in the puzzle to DRAWERS) indeed drew some chuckles. This puzzle wasn't too much of a problem save for the NE, which took me far too long at around 25 minutes of the total. I had AVOID, then erased it, RANTO, then erased it, WITH, then erased it. Once I wrote them all back in, I filled in ATONE, then DWARF (which should have come sooner), and that was it. tAnLINE was put in initially for 47D Important feature for a male model, but was quickly replaced with the proper JAWLINE. Only because of the NE, this seemed a little tougher than usual for a Wednesday. Nice theme-material jokes.

  2. It's such a pity that all the good chemistry jokes argon...