Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015, Caleb Emmons


Okay, this was fun. I love the turnaround: so often we have the random Roman numeral answer thrown into the grid, especially with some trivia related to the year, such as "Year Reccared I died" (answer 601, but who cares?). Instead, we have words made up of letters found in Roman numerals, interpreted as those numerals. My favorite was 11D: 501st royal daughter? (PRINCESSDI).

The other funny thing about a theme like this one is that it allows the author to Scrabble it up shamelessly. 5 Xs in the theme answers alone, with a Q, J, and 3 Ks scattered around. It's almost a shame that it isn't a pangram (no F, no Y).

A few notable things (and yes, I'm about to break out some bullet points):

  • I put "flop" in confidently at 1A, because I thought maybe Luke Wilson was in "Starsky & Hutch". Alas, no: it was OWEN, and his movie was kind of a BOMB (Do it. Do it!)
  • Subsequent to my mistake above, I wanted to put "petites" in at 4D (Many Swedish models). I have no idea of the relative size of Swedish models to others. BLONDES makes more sense.
  • I had a Kitwo moment at 24D: Review (GOOVER), but only for a split second.
  • STEREOS? Does anybody still use those? I mean, besides my oldest brother?
  • I love MAXEDOUT, but not as much as ONASTICK. I mean, how random, right?
  • Least favorite section was the far SE. ALCOA is something that should just go away. That being said, I entered it with just the A. OTRA is another annoying standby: you never know whether it's going to end in an O or an A.
  • A pair of "American____" next to each other, ending in ELM and IDOL.
All right, enough for now. Definitely a puzzle that fits into the weird Wednesday slot, and I liked it.

- Colum


  1. 10:23
    I liked "Starsky and Hutch" and I use, at the YBH, two STEREOS. I notice that you don't want to see UHURA go away, even though that is the answer to a Star Trek clue 80% of the time ("Sulu" is 18% and other answers cover the final 2%). Please don't analyze my percentages. Of course, my favorite answer was XXXRATINGS (30D 30 consumer reviews?). I did have to stare at GOOVER for a little while, but then performed the forehead slap. On a side note, yesterday's puzzle included the answer SINGAPORE, a country we've visited, and today's has BALI, an island that we'll be visiting in the near future. Anyway, I agree: fun Wednesday puzzle, and nicely done.

    1. I liked Starsky and Hutch also. It just didn't do that well at the box office.

  2. 9:23
    I agree with the both of you. It was a fun one! I, too, had "flop" at first for 1A, and tried "tennis" briefly for 5A: Court sport. Neither stayed in long. Aahh.. the joys of solving on a digital device. I particularly liked the clue for AMOR (46A: Cupid, or his concern). Easy but clever is always better than just easy. See also 8D: PIN points (ATMS), and 40D: One involved in arm-twisting? (ULNA). I also loved the blatant Latin in 18D: Desideratum (NEED). Overall, quite good.