Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015, Herre Schouwerwou


And it's not the error you might think. For some reason I thought that 22A: Kings and Queens could reasonably be answered BEeS, ignoring the well-known lack of male royalty in the apiary. I remembered thinking that AGEe was a peculiar answer for 12D: Put in extra time?, but I left it for later, only not to get back to it at any time until I'd finished the puzzle. Ah, well.

So, it's an infamous quote puzzle. I tend not to like these themes, in that there's no entry until the quote becomes apparent, at which time it's just filling in. It can be particularly annoying because sections no longer connect with each other, and each section becomes a mini-puzzle. That being said, an Ogden Nash quotation is always welcome, and this one is a classic. The clue makes it clear that there's going to be at least one square with punctuation in it, but I wasn't sure how many. The dash fit well with SEA-DOO, so that was clever.

Difficulties abounded at the outset: I put in "shhhh" and then "shush" for 1D (CANIT), so the opening of the quote was obscured. 23A: Shade from the sun (TAN) is brilliant, and was not seen by me until after the puzzle was finished. I wanted "hat" at first. I also like the clue for 15A: Hardly fair (UGLY).

Other nice words in the puzzle include EUCHRE, SLOVENLY, and TYPESET. 33D: Leading folk figure (PIEDPIPER) is quite nice. And there's also the timely HAIL MARYS.

I don't love ESTOP or AGHA, but that's about it for quibbles. I was very proud when I had _U__ at 61A: (Sussex river where Virginia Woolf tragically ended her life) to pull OUSE out.

- Colum


  1. Haaaaah! I hadn't heard this one before, or if I had, I didn't remember it. We love Nash, and soon after I read the clue saying it would be one of his quotes I came upon EER and ESTOP, and I said, well, it's going to take more than that for me to go against this puzzle. And as you say, there really wasn't much more to dislike.

    LEMON, and then TAN were my entrée into the NW, and I worked down from there to the SE, and the last part of the clue came last for me, making the whole thing even better. I finished with one error, too (after about 25 minutes). I had put in CoM for 49A: Web ending, and realized too late that oRGUE was not correct for 50D: Thrash out. Oh well.

    Didn't know any of the names today (DEV, OLGA, MEYER) (ok, I did know ARTTATUM), but the crosses were all fair.


  2. 26:45 (FWOE)
    I'm not counting the - box, where I just entered a question mark because there was no letter that could go in there. I'm talking about the OUSE/ARTTATUM cross, because I was unfamiliar with either of those proper names. I incorrectly guessed an "i" for there. I'd heard this quote, and love it, also, but I do agree with Colum on quote puzzles in general, including this one; they should be retired, IMHO. Another thing that should be retired is any mention of teams, of which ATEAM (14A Starters) is a prime example, but the recently seen "CTEAM" (or was it plural?) is even more glaringly terrible, especially if it was plural.