Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015, Susan Gelfand


Nothing like a little COMICRELIEF to lighten up a Tuesday. I thought the theme entries were good choices, all fairly common answers, although I've never said or drank CRYSTALGEYSER. At least I've heard of it. We also had two Jewish comics and two African-American comics represented. The revealer was nice: I had no idea how the answers were related until I figured out 60A, and that's the best kind of revealer.

Beyond the theme, there were a number of reasonably good answers. I like the odd juxtaposition of CAMEROON next to the Japanese classic RASHOMON. MALAMUTE is another nice entry. I liked the clue for 40D: What some dieters do (YOYO), and the pair of Evita clues was okay, I guess. I'm not much of a fan of that musical or its composer. And I like SALAMI, especially in an Italian sub.

So much for the good stuff. 25 3-letter answers makes for a lot of DRIVEL. Some examples are: ANALYZER, IRONER (?! - how's that for an interrobang?), SANELY. But the worst of all deserves its own paragraph.

35D: Antiquity, in antiquity: ELD. I just don't see how this could have been allowed. The clue is cute, the word unnecessary. If the constructor had changed the first letter to O, you would have had "old" and "one", which is always preferable in my eyes to the random direction clue/answer pair. You could have done alt/ane/cut, although I don't love the chemical suffix much. You could have done cue/ole/one. All sorts of possibilities, without resorting to "eld". Blah.

Oh, by the way, I didn't mind the ancient Leopold AUER or Franz LEHAR, but I can see how others might complain.

So overall, it was okay, but could have been much better. I'm sounding like Rex Parker. Oh, dear.

- Colum


  1. 8:16

    Way to work in interrobang. Nice. And yes, the paragraph of re-working did sound very Rex-y. So much for this blog offering an alternative. First your blistering times, then this?! (see what I did there?)

    But seriously, you make an excellent point about ELD. "One" and "old" is infinitely better. (By the way, did you check to see if Rex said exactly the same thing?)

    I laughed to see the photo today, both because that is an absurd example of the object in question, and because, as you know, we're thinking of remodeling a bit here chez Horace and Frannie, and one of the ideas being tossed around is a MURPHYBED! They're not prohibitively expensive, it would seem, and it just might work. Frannie has loved them ever since her apartment in Chicago had two of them. They're just so practical!

    1. I love that example of the Murphy Bed. You should see the videos that go with it. The shelf swivels so that everything can just stay on it as it goes under the bed.

  2. 13:37
    What, Colum didn't enjoy Madonna's performance in the movie version of Evita?! ODD. I actually knew 10A Key of Schubert's Symphony No. 9: Abbr. (CMAJ) with no crosses since the work is known generally as "Symphony No. 9 in C-Maj: The Great." I starred only YOYO as particularly good, although ROCKOPERA was nice. I'd have rather seen an Asimov or Tom Baker's Doctor Who clue for ROBOT instead of the given 56A Tireless worker?, which I found, again, ODD. I did enjoy the spelling of PHIAL (23A Lab bottle) as well as a few other things, but there's been enough said about this puzzle.