Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday, January 11, 2015, Peter A. Collins

Personal Statements

Before we start, since I last posted, two pretty awesome football games were played, and I'm not talking about Carolina-Seattle. Very impressive Green Bay win, and I can't wait to see what happens in Seattle next weekend. And I though the Pats played their hearts out against one of the toughest opponents they could have faced.

On to the puzzle, though. This was very smooth, over all. The theme is straightforward: take celebrities whose last names start with S, and transition that S into a possessive and see what happens. My favorites were the ones where the last name had to be broken into two words to make it work. Thus, BOBBYSHERMAN, SYLVESTERSTALLONE, and MYLESSTANDISH, with my favorite being Sly's beer. Extra credit goes to those where the first name ends in S, and it still works. That being said, I had the theme within about 1 minute of starting the puzzle, so it loses some for being so straightforward.

The fill is overall quite good. Some excellent cluing was to be found: 15D: Challenge for a playboy (MONOGAMY) is fun. 37D: What toasters often hold: (BUBBLY) was predictable in its meaning but not in the way it was carried out. 48D: High-minded sort? (POTUSER) is an excellent entry in the recent run of marijuana-related answers.

And the clues keep coming! 87D: Have trouble with sass? (LISP) is very funny. 95D: Run out of gear? (STREAK) is quite good. And maybe my favorite: 71: I.M. sent to a construction site? (PEI). Ha!

Things I didn't love: OLORD is a peculiar partial. AMAIN is not a word I really want to see in a puzzle. And I could go either way with 63D: City in Los Lobos? (OSLO). Yes, I get the hidden word aspect, but it feels like a stretch.

With so few complaints, I think you have to call this Sunday a winner. Oh, and let's not forget our Auntie Mame reference: ASARULE. Hope would be so pleased.

 - Colum


  1. 28:44
    I don't like it when the Sunday NYT puzzle is easier than the Worcester Telegram offering, on which I earned a DNF today. OKOK, I didn't love MCING (99D Hosting, informally), but in that corner I enjoyed YOGIS and LLAMA being side-by-side; I know they don't actually go together, but they reminded me of Nash, so it was good. I agree that there isn't too much to not like in this. I happen to own a couple of BOBBYSHERMAN albums, but alas, I've never seen even one episode of "Here Come the Brides." I've recently been studying up a bit on the Hindu religion, so I was able to get SHIVA right away. I would have preferred, though, a Janis Joplin reference to the OLORD at 6A, but then we wouldn't have had a nice referential clue at 94D for PSALMS, and I think that she used the "h" in there regardless ("Oh Lord").

  2. The clue for PEI was, indeed, terrific, but as Frannie said, I.M. Pei probably isn't "sent" anywhere. He goes where he wants.

    And yes, we agree that this was a fun one. Frannie did the lion's share of it, and later admitted, long after the puzzle was done, that as she realized that she had done a lot of it and suddenly panicked thinking "oh no! Now I'll have to so the review!" Hah! I guess the month of is good for both of us! Thanks again, it's been fun reading them.

  3. Sorry for the typos - iPad typing is not so good for me. It's a wonder I get through any puzzle without errors!