Saturday, February 7, 2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015, Byron Walden

FWOE (1:08:07)

It was a hard-fought victory today, or so we thought, until we didn't get the "Congratulations!" screen. Turns out we needed the Latin plural for AORTAE (8D: Arterial tree components) and NEWME instead of "new Ms." for 25A: Moniker after a lifestyle change. I don't feel too bad about it, though, because that's got to be one of the weakest squares in a grid filled with a lot of great answers.

Chunky corners held such uncommon answers as BROUHAHA (18A: Hurly-burly), COALESCE (12D: Come together), SEAGLASS (14D: Reclaimed material used in jewelry) (I'm not sure I've seen any such jewelry, but I am a big fan of sea glass. Usually I just see it in jars, I guess.), TVDINNER (50A: Banquet offering) (Hidden capital!), GRIPPE (1D: Producer of a cough and shivers), and RUCHED (2D: Decoratively pleated and gathered, as some bridal gowns) (Thanks, Frannie!), to name just six.

The East was easier than the West for us, today, and held such lovely clues as 49A: Part of a suspended sentence? (EMDASH), 44A: Ball boy? (DESIARNAZJR), 39D: Good for rushes, say (MARSHY), and 32A: Providers of housewarmings? (BOILERS).

Did not love KAYS (40A: Some jewelry stores, informally), and although there are quite a few proper names, I didn't mind it as much as I sometimes do. Although, BOBKERREY, PIM, and HOBBS, are not exactly on the tip of most people's tongues.

Thumbs up overall.

- Horace


  1. Outstanding puzzle. BEINS, MONOTONE, TOSCA, HOBBS, and WILHELMINA were my initial answers, but I had the hardest time making any connections from there. It was made worse by putting in votEON for RULEON. Things opened up once I guessed at LONDON____, which opened up the NW. I had ENGINEers for ENGINEMEN, which made the SW impossible to enter. Fortunately I was able to work my way around. DESIARNAZJR and PHINDICATOR are two insane answers. I won't take credit for a time because I needed help to figure out that ENGINEers was wrong. Still, a great puzzle.

  2. Also, I really dislike AORTAE. We each only have one, so I don't see how this clue even makes sense. Bummer.

  3. Really, you don't know The Natural? Roy Hobbs? Robert Redford?

  4. Of course I know The Natural, and I've heard of Bob Kerrey, too, but I can't immediately call his name, or the name of every character in every schlocky '80s movie, to mind. That's all I'm saying.

  5. And speaking of Redford, we recently saw "All Is Lost." An interesting film.

  6. The first two things I entered were DITKA and HOBBS. Somehow that's a rather more prominent character than your standard schlocky '80s role to me. Maybe because it's Redford, maybe because it's a noteworthy, better-than-average, if overly melodramatic, sports movie. But yes, definitely easy fodder for me and, I dare say, the EnglishTeacher. From the __BK_____, I immediately put in the BOBK_____ and could picture his face. What's more, I knew he was from Nebraska, although I'll admit to enough self-doubt to wonder "or was in South Dakota." But, yes, it took several minutes, although no additional crosses, to pull BOBKERREY from the cobwebs.