Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015, John Guzzetta


This puzzle was for the birds.

Besides the 5 theme answers, we also had EMUS (15A: Cousins of ostriches). Actually, it's not a bad puzzle for a Monday. I don't really know OLDBUZZARD (24A: Cantankerous fellow) as a phrase I'd use in conversation, but the other four are solid. On the plus side, you have the nice pairing of AMENABLE and QUATRAIN, mirrored in the other corner by SHOUTOUT and PANDEMIC. The NW and SE are likewise nicely chunky, with SEDERS an unfortunate unnecessary plural.

But the middle has some stuff I don't like. What's with 21D: Like many Mexicans' forebears (AZTECANS)? Wouldn't they just be Aztecs? I'm also not fond of 34D: Not touched, as a boxer (UNHIT). Can we just put "un" in front of words and make an acceptable entry? The two partials USEIT and IREST are at least unusual (the former clued nicely with a spelling bee reference).

Things I do like: 25D: One trying to grab a bite at the theater? (DRACULA), 59A: N.Y.C. home of Magrittes and Matisses (MOMA, because it's a great museum, if expensive. Helps to have a mother with a Met ID), and 49D: Like 18 1/2 minutes of the Watergate tapes (ERASED).

Well, they can't all be gems like last Friday and Saturday.

- Colum


  1. 8:50
    I'm not really sure what took me so long. OLDBUZZARD is familiar to me, as are the others. I had heX instead of POX for awhile at 68A Curse, but that was fixed as I entered the crosses, and DuI instead of DWI at 19A Result of a failed Breathalyzer test, for short, also fixed quickly. Once I saw the K at 53D Nickname for Catherine, I wanted to enter "Kel" but knew that probably wasn't the correct answer. I always like to be reminded of LIZ Lemon (36A), so there are no complaints from this camp.

  2. Colum, I think your typo did you in with AZTECANs. The plural would indeed be AZTECS. But AZTECAN seems like a legitimate heritage.