Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015, Roland Huget


All right, so really this was a FWTE result, but the two errors were frankly excusable in my eyes. I'll get into those issues in a bit.

The NW was a challenge to get into. I guessed 1D was EBBETS (after all, we just had Peewee Reese as an answer in a recent puzzle). Then I thought that 16A: Like many movies on file-sharing sites (BOOTLEG) would be "pirated", so I erased the name of the Brooklyn stadium. Then I guessed that 3D: Private identification? would be DOGTAG, so I erased pirated... Then I left the NW corner entirely.

Things got going in the NE, where AREEL (7D: Spinning), RNS, and WILLIAM gave us ARROWS (7A: Ones taking a bow? - an all right clue, not as funny as it thinks it is). Cece got ONTIPTOE, and we were off and running. Since we had ______LOM for 31A: Event often with gate crashers? (A much funnier clue), GIANTSLALOM went in (although I thought it was "grand" initially).

In fact, all of the 11-letter answers were excellent. I recalled that Augustus was Julius Caesar's GRANDNEPHEW from I, Claudius (which Hope and I took to calling I, Clavdivs). The Robert Graves has the wonderful poem which includes:

     The hairy one next to enslave the state
     Shall be son, no son, of this hairy last...

And therefore, grand-nephew.

MISSMANNERS and SMARTYPANTS are good answers as well, but to cross these with GIANTSLALOM, MICKEYMOUSE, and COMEUPPANCE... well, that's some fine puzzle making in my book.

The corners are nice and open, with nice answers like SRILANKA, MONARCHY, and COMPUTE. I also like the connectors with REGIMEN, PEWTERS, and STAMMER. OILSEED is okay.

I don't know how 16A: Prime times leads to BIGYEARS. "Golden years," yes, or something like that. And SEALER is really not worthy of this puzzle.

My two errors? Oh, yeah. I'd hoped you'd forgotten. Okay, fine. So the first was the cross of LINEAL and LEYDEN. I had LINEAr, which certainly seemed logical, and much more acceptable than the actual choice, while a rEYDEN jar looked wrong, but I accepted it.

The other error was the cross of SEGER and RICER. I had dICER, which again seems more of a thing than a "ricer" which I do not own, and do not plan on owning. Meanwhile, SEGEd seemed plausible in a sense, as I'd never heard of Carole Bayer Sager. I see that she wrote the theme song for the movie Arthur, which won an Academy Award. Oh, well.

I enjoyed this puzzle a lot.

- Colum


  1. 21:08

    But I had problems in that SW corner, too. Sad, because Frannie is actually quite close to Leiden this Spring. Anyway, I had linean, I think, when I ended, and I also had LEs instead of LED, which, in retrospect, is inexcusable.

    I, too, loved this one. Agree about the difficulty of the NW. I tried "center" for 1D, but once I got ILES, I really wanted ENDSIT, so that helped. I also knew GRANDNEPHEW with only the P of COMEUPPANCE, which went in with no crosses on my way through the Acrosses. Not too much objectionable, as you say, and a great central section.

  2. 33:31 on the timer, but the real time was a bit over an hour; my computer shut down just as I was finishing and the puzzle hadn't saved.
    Anyway, no errors here, although it did take me a while to finish. I wanted "acting" for the Reese clue, but nothing would work up there until I gave up on that dream. Other than that, the LEYDEN/SEDAN cross took me some time. Nothing else was too tough, and the bulk of the puzzle was finished in under 20 minutes. Sue and I read MISSMANNERS every Sunday, although you'd never know it.

  3. 20:47
    FWOE (silly, I put hENNA and didn't notice I had hEDAN as a car body type)

    Colum, your admission about Carole Bayer Sager (sure proof that one person can not know everything) has led me down a treacherous path this morning. The name is instantly recognizable to me as one of the most successful songwriters (she did have a couple of albums but her success is as a non-performing songwriter) of the last 40 years. Start typing her name into Google and the second thing that comes up is Carole Bayer Sager Net Worth! In addition to that Oscar you allude to, she also has 5 other Oscar nominations, one Grammy out of 9 nominations, and 2 Golden Globes out of 7 nominations according to Wikipedia. But more than that, she wrote for an incredibly broad sector of hugely successful performers. The treacherous part of this exercise is that so many of her songs are merciless pop schmaltz that linger in your brain... no, not linger, remember the Ceti eels from Wrath of Khan? They enter through the ear canal and wrap themselves around the cerebral cortex...

    If you dare, take a listen Dionne Warwick, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder singing "That's What Friends are For," or that Oscar winner "Best That You Can Do," or the Ice Castles Theme: "Through the Eyes of Love," or Leo Sayer's "When I Need You" that for years had me referring to the songwriter as Carole Bayer Sayer.. all enormously successful on the pop charts and merciless!