Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015, Timothy Polin


Again! This one I don't really mind. I entered rAFT at 8A (Go with the flow?), which is actually a good answer, I think better than WAFT. rAC is not a thing, but I didn't really notice, since I knew it was an abbreviation.

So, anyhoo. The theme was very good today. I didn't get it initially, even after entering the revealer, because the last corner I had to fill was the NW, where I had mistakenly entered orbITER for 1D (Planet). Thus the FIFTH portion of the COLUMNS was not evident. Only when I switched to JUPITER and saw how the clue for each of the shaded answers was missing the understood "fifth" did I get it. I recall being particularly confused at 59D: Month (MAY). That seemed incomplete, now for retrospectively obvious reasons.

How hard was it to remember PIERCEBROSNAN? I thought of all of the other Bonds first (once again, before I understood the theme). David Niven, Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Daniel Craig. But not Pierce. Of course Niven's in there because of the spoof film, Casino Royale, not considered part of the standard Bond films. Saw a funny bit in The Trip, where it's pointed out that only one of the Bond portrayers is actually British, namely Moore.

But enough of a digression. Speaking of actors, 56A: Bean, for one (ORSON) is apparently referring to a television actor I'd never heard of. His face is not even familiar to me. However, he went to Cambridge Rindge & Latin, so there you go. And I'd venture to say that much of the fill is not what I'd want to see in general. EMEER, LEM, ESS, MARM (?), YERS. And that's just a fraction of it.

On the other hand, there's some nice cluing. My favorite is probably 5A: One may be involved in phone tapping (APP). I had AP_ and still stared at it for a minute until I got it. I like 27A: Rhubarb (SPAT). And how about 35D: Go off line? (ADLIB). That's a nice companion for App: one's clue is deliberately old-fashioned, the other's is deceptively modern.

Overall I liked it, but it's a close balance.

- Colum


  1. Was it in The Trip, or in The Trip In Italy? I think it was the latter, but it's not terribly important.

    Frannie did the bulk of this one, and I only came in at the very end, when we were forced to look for our one error. It turned out to be the same as yours, but I had to go to the Crossword Fiend to find it. Incidentally, she had a different error!

    Lots of things I did not know in here - JOSS, PASSADO, TRU (55A: Har-____ (tennis court surface)), BRUNO… Liked the theme quite a bit, though, and the clues you mention. Especially APP. Liked the Guy Fawkes reference, and TREASON is good fill. As is GAGRULE, INERROR, ONETIME, and even FOREPAW.

    I didn't do it, but I still like it.

    1. We watched both movies over four total days, so they've blurred together, if it's possible to blur the North of England with the Amalfi Coast.

  2. DNF (44:59)
    Three errors, it seems. I had rAFT instead of WAFT and sPy instead of APP. In no case did these work with the downs. That said, I did enjoy the theme, now that it's been explained to me. FOREPAW took way too long, as did TOPRATE and CARPI, where I stubbornly held onto rAddI as long as I could. Yes, the Rhubarb/SPAT thing was nice. This was a tough but enjoyable Thursday puzzle, even though I didn't finish. Is no one going to call Colum out on his ORSON Bean ignorance?