Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015, Patrick Berry


We're always excited to see Mr. Berry's byline on a puzzle, especially on a Friday or a Saturday. This one has an interesting-looking grid with just six three-letter answers, none of which is especially painful. The corners are all chunky, and there's nothing longer than ten letters. All of which makes for a satisfying, and somewhat speedy, solving experience. I'm not sure if any of those things add to the speed of solving, actually, but we seem to be on Mr. Berry's wavelength, and as a result, his puzzles always seem to get done a little on the quick side.

The corners fell one after the other until we got to the NE, which took several false-starts before we finally got it. ENOS (23A: Biblical figure said to have married his sister Noam) ("sister Noam?"... but those sideburns!) isn't something we knew, nor was BOYLE (10D: Philosopher Robert who wrote "The Sceptical Chymist"). Nor INCAN (11D: Like the sun god Inti), though it sounds right after the fact. It was INNAMEONLY (15A: Supposedly, but not really) and ECONOMYCAR (18A: Not-so-big wheels?) (You know, I've started to just ignore question marks, I think) that finally broke it open for us.

38A: Ones hanging around in med school? (SKELETONS) was cute, as was 5D: Smashing result (PIECES). OBLITERATE (51A: Wipe out) is a fun word, as is EXECRABLE (3D: No good at all). Also ESOTERICA (29D: Specialized knowledge). I enjoyed a MISO (53A: Soup flavoring) soup today at lunch. And we have two Chinese zodiac animals (RAT, TIGER), but neither is this year's horse, or next year's goat - arriving a week from today.

There's nothing, really, to complain about, and even though Patrick Berry is something of an OBSESSION with us, nothing to fawn over, either. It's a very clean, visually and aesthetically pleasing Friday.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. 12:18. I've been away at a conference this week, so comments will be entered after the fact for the previous days' puzzles. Couldn't agree with you more about this puzzle. Outstanding, clean, well-clued, fun. I had 3/4 of the puzzle finished in 6 minutes, and then came to the NE. It didn't help that I had grunT for SNORT, "hero" for TEMP (9D: Sub) and leftOVERS for 8D: Party followers, perhaps. Seemed reasonable. I actually guessed BOYLE and INCAN, so ENOS came without too much difficulty. Eventually I erased all of the above and then it fell into place.

    I like that EYEDOCTOR and SKELETONS mirror each other. Don't love the clue for SIR (36A: British Empire honoree). Only 6 3-letter answers, 16 10-letter answers. Nice. High quality.