Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015, Jason Flinn


This is the first puzzle I can recall doing by this author, and I'd like to say I enjoyed it, but that would be lying. It has the maximum number of answers in a themed puzzle, at 78, which means an awful lot of 3-letter answers. And it skews old-fashioned. We get James AGEE, 2001: A Space Odyssey's HAL, Peter GUNN, Cocoon's Don AMECHE, and Gomez' TISH. One of these might have been fine, but five feels tired. Not to mention ancient crosswordese ETUIIOTA, and SETTO.

A couple of things that work well are the two nine-letter answers at 3D and 36D, matching up so cleverly: THESCREAM and PSYCHOTIC. I also very much enjoyed the side by side 40D: "Don't count on me" (NOTI) and 41D: "You can count on me" (IMIN).

The theme works well enough, especially with five answers. My favorite is CRADLETOGRAVE, with SEATOSHININGSEA coming in second for the silliness of the clue: All, for an anthem writer. As if your standard anthem writer would typically use that phrase. That's cute.

The rest I can do without.

- Colum


  1. 8:39
    Tough crowd. I never mind the older references, especially if one has to do with the Addams Family. And what's wrong with HAL or Don AMECHE? The proper HOMER was referenced along with its referential clue/answer at 62A (APU). Sure, there's lots of three-letter junk in here, but it's Monday. One thing I don't generally like is the use of ERN instead of erne, but LEI always gives me warm feelings, as does MERLOT, although it would have been nice if the latter was paired with 25D Verdant (LUSH) instead of the given clue. My only real complaint may be the use of an abbreviation at 32D Figure in many religious paintings (STMARY) without one being used in the clue.

  2. I didn't love this one either. The theme answers were all quite nice, and, as you say, Colum, the two long downs are quite good… is that enough? Maybe not. We actually FWOE'd on the AND/NEGEV cross. I put in AdD, not liking it at all when I entered it, bu I had been so jaded already by the likes of PSST, IOTA, ORO, NAS, IDEATE (horrible), and ERN, that I guess I never looked back. I'm not familiar with the NEGEV, even though I'm almost positive I've seen it before in a grid. I guess it's time to learn it!

    Anyway, yeah, not great. Not terrible, but not great.