Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015, David J. Kahn


A well-done Presidents' Day theme. Let's see, I find Polk, Ford, Obama, Carter, Tyler (tricky!), Nixon, Taft, and Grant. And a bonus ninth - Jester, which could, I think, represent many. And we've got a couple convention clues as mini bonus fill - CHI (6A: Site of the 1968 Democratic convention, informally) and ORLEANS (39D: New ____, site of the 1988 Republican convention. Not to mention a decent amount clues related to the president and politics - DATA (24D: Polling figures, e.g.), 43A: Like "All the President's Men," originally, per the M.P.A.A. (RRATED), the word "15A: Campaigned" as a clue for RAN, SAX clued with 20A: Instrument for Bill Clinton, informally), and even more I won't mention. Even congress is represented - 29D: Not working (OUTOFORDER).

The fill suffers a bit from the word find, I think, and we end up with BLU, URI, ENTSILE, BOURG, ETE, ODORED (yuck!), TEO, ATTA, and other less-than-ideal fill, but I'm going to issue an official pardon today. Sometimes knowing when not to ENFORCE the law is as important as knowing when to RANT about HACKS. We can all DREAMABOUT perfect puzzles … wouldn't that be NEATO? … but much like in politics, we are stuck with the president, the congress, the crossword puzzles, that we have until we rise up and do something to change them. Run for office! Construct a crossword! Dare to get off your RUMP, throw off that YOKE, and MAKE a difference that will be LAUDED!

- Horace


  1. I did this puzzle with both sons and, alas, we didn't notice the presidents until reading the review. Curiously, neither knew ELMER Fudd. I feel we have scarred them for life somehow, although they've certainly seen Bugs. Neither did either get any help from my clue of Horace's favorite actress for 9A. We did, not surprisingly, get a big kick out of SAUER kraut, although I must concede that we originally entered REAR for (43D: Where a horse's tail is), leading to the __E__ cross and so I was thinking, heaven forbid, lip-puckering would have to be the crosswordy ACERB. Fortunately I let the boys do the figuring on Mondays and Mr. Kahn was more than merciful; pandering even, I would say if he knew us from Adam's off ox.

  2. 4:50. Cece helped, entering TAE, LEIA, OUTOFORDER, BLU, and wanted ODORous, which is a much better answer than the actual one. I noticed that the app on the iPad blinked the information button at me, which alerted us to the word-search aspect, but we didn't undertake to find the presidents until we'd completed the grid. Tyler and Nixon were the best, as they move diagonally. Obama, Carter, and Taft were nice in that they were reversed inside the longer answers. Ford was too straightforward, but was at least across two words in the longer answer. Polk was just silly.

    I agree about the general level of the fill, but it wasn't so bad as to be too difficult for a Monday, IMO.

  3. 6:21
    Icarus, remedy the Fudd problem immediately! And nice shot of JODIE, Horace. Lots of "CK"s in the north with CRACK/HACKS/TIRETRACK/TACKY. I'm not too sure, however, unless solvers don't know of ELMER Fudd, whether three names were necessary to identify a MARX brother; any of their names would do nicely. I liked seeing POLKA under YEATS, though little poetry is evident in the former genre (I must admit this even though I'm a half-Pole). I, for one, enjoyed seeing SAUER in the grid, and am surprised that the Icarus Fob contingent didn't seem to.