Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015, Gary Cee


My Wednesday time is faster than my Tuesday time this week.

So this puzzle is a neat whirligig of theme answers, all surrounding the central YOU, which partakes in each song title. The symmetry is beautiful: IVEGOT[YOU]UNDERMYSKIN mirrors IWANTTOTAKE[YOU]HIGHER, while ALL[YOU]NEEDISLOVE is countered by JUSTTHEWAY[YOU]ARE. It seems like this would take an awful lot of work to find titles that fit the necessary requirements. I even like the songs, especially the pair of The Beatles and Billy Joel tunes.

The excellence of the theme makes up, in part for the large number of abbreviations and crosswordese that dot the fill. Just to name a few: USO ILO AAU YTD NYS RIV EDT and then ERES EPEE EMIR ORLY ODAS.

But to focus on that poor set of words would miss the other very nice entries. KONTIKI was a favorite book of mine when a lad. GRAPENUTS is unpleasant to eat, but nice in the grid. RUNALONG is cute, IMPOSTER is nice.

Not much good cluing unfortunately. 7A: Popular game? (ELK) is clever. 35A: Producer of many parts would be a clever clue except for the following issue:

Q: What do you use to part your hair?

A: My HAIRCOMB, said no one, ever.

On the other hand, MAHLER. [swoons]

- Colum


  1. 13:10
    I don't generally use a HAIRCOMB; just my fingers. I don't mind GRAPENUTS, especially with a nice soy milk (or vanilla soy). Anyway, yes, nice theme. The hardest theme answer for me was Sly's, but even that went relatively quickly. I've never heard of the ILO (25A "Promoting decent work for all" agcy.), but with the crosses it was not a big deal. I like how UNDERMYSKIN has "derm" and "skin" right in there...looks nice in the grid, somehow. 34A Knaves (ROGUES) was one of my favorites, and I thought that 36D Giving a pat on the back, say (CONSOLING) was clever. I also never heard of LINA Wertmuller (11D), nor have I heard of the movie cited. A good Wednesday puzzle, fun, with the proper level of difficulty. I assume that's NIDA Naldi (or Naldi NIDA), someone else with whom I'm not familiar.

  2. 9:43

    My Wednesday time was faster, too. I thought this would take me forever, because I didn't even try when I saw that several answers spanned three different locations. After a while, of course, the answers became pretty obvious, and then filling in the letters I didn't have made many more things obvious. And there you have it - I have just described the act of doing a crossword puzzle. Again, I say, you're welcome.

    As you say, this is a mix of really good and really bad. AAU? ILO? ODAS? Yecch. And speaking of yecch, or anti-yecch, I enjoy Grape Nuts, too. I remember eating them when I was quite young, when my dad taught me to let them soak for a couple minutes before trying to eat them, to let them soften up. Mmmm…. mushy Grape Nuts….

    Silent Screen vamps - what would the NYTX do without them?