Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015, David Woolf


Well, this one flew by until the SE, and then I spent about ten minutes there before putting it aside and going to work. When I got home, I gave it to Frannie and it took her all of two or three minutes to correct my mistakes and finish it up. She'll be gone for a couple months, starting soon, and I don't know what I'm going to do while she's away!

So let's start off in earnest with the very first clue - 1A: Buxom (BIGBREASTED). How likely do you think it is that 1A in the New York Times Crossword will ever be 1A: Well-hung (BIGPENISED)? Probably not very likely. But since it's ok to objectify women in society at large, it's ok with Will Shortz and the NYT. So be it. Mr. Woolf almost seemed to regret it right away with 15A: With 17-Across, the B-side to "A Hard Day's Night" (ISHOULDHAVE/KNOWNBETTER).

In other areas, the four nine-letter answers are all good: RATPOISON, ACTNORMAL, SHRINKAGE (13D: Washing woe) (not "cold-water woe," we notice...), and TRUECRIMEAPPLEID (45A: Need for an iTunes Store account) took me way too long, especially since I've been doing the reviews for the past few days on a brand-new Apple product!

LEHR (55A: Glassmaker's oven) is a new one to us. Straight from Wikipedia - "lehr is a temperature-controlled kiln for annealing objects made of glass. The name derives from the German verb lehren meaning to teach and is cognate with the English lere also meaning to learn or acquire knowledge of (something)." Who knew? Other obscure - to many, probably - answers include PELOTA (46D: Jai alai ball) and LEILA (50A: Orphan in Byron's "Don Juan").

Overall, a decent enough puzzle with one major issue.

- Horace


  1. The cluing of 1 across was changed from LIKE INDUSTRIAL BROILERS? to BUXOM by Will Shortz ( But in Will's defense, BIG PENIS is not aligned with BIG BREASTED. A penis is a sexual organ...a breast is not. If the puzzle had BIG VAGINA, I could see your beef. But really? I don't see why this is objectifying a woman.

  2. 52:05
    Well, making no judgments, I typically enjoy the 1A-type of clue/answer; it sits quite well with me, as would, probably, either of the two mentioned by Anon. Objectify, or not, away. I didn't know that Beatles song right off the bat from the clue, but was able to get it relatively quickly. I did know EGGMAN, but it took a bit too long for me to fill it in from E______N. The trouble was that I originally entered eMAIL instead of GMAIL for 37D, which threw me off a bit. Interesting trivia about W and Sly (SAMEAGE). Speaking of penis, there's ZIPS in there, and you've already mentioned SHRINKAGE. And speaking of Frannie, TRAVELS also occurs, along with ROOMKEY. I didn't know PELOTA, LEHR or LEILA, nor am I familiar with CLAYTON Kershaw with three Cy Young Awards (25A). I thought that I'd try a project of watching every Red Sox game available on regular over-the-air TV this season. Maybe that would make me more of a guy's guy.

  3. 21:32
    CLAYTON Kershaw plays for the Dodgers, a National League team, so even watching every Red Sox game probably wouldn't get you a chance to see him pitch. Still, he's been such a dominant pitcher over the last few years that his name would almost certainly come up from time to time in news from around the league.

    I'm a little surprised that neither Horace nor Huygens hasn't seen the term PELOTA. It is, simply, the Spanish word for "ball," particularly a ball with which to play a game. That might not help much if one hasn't taken any Spanish, but as the particular word for the ball used in a nauseating-used, crosswordese sport, I'm surprised you haven't gone through a clue including PELOTA to get to either JAI or ALAI in some past grid. I know I have.

    It took me way too long to get to ISHOULDHAVEKNOWNBETTER.

  4. Watching every over-the-air Twins game this season would get you nowhere. I don't think there are any. I suppose the Sox have a couple Fox "game of the week" telecasts.