Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015, David Steinberg


What a chunky Saturday we have here. The corners are wide open, with a ton of Scrabble-filled letters. Each corner has at least one Z! And I didn't feel like Mr. Steinberg sacrificed a lot of ugly fill to make it happen.

2D: Big chill? (ICEAGE) was my first entry, and I followed with LALO as a guess. I incorrectly thought goTO for 4D (____ pieces), but the T was enough to give me DEATHSTAR. But the G did mean that the NW corner had to wait to get finished.

So the gimme SCARUM followed at 34A, followed by POM and TORSO at 48A and 61A respectively, the latter with the fun clue Six-pack container? OMANIS came next and NAPA, an answer I must have put in and taken out about four times through the course of the solving of this puzzle. I still did not have my breakthrough.

I guessed "oysters" at 32A as the "jeweler of kings," even though in retrospect, that should have been a singular oyster. It came out pretty quickly. The NE corner gave be ONCEOVER and BOZ, which led to YEARZERO as well. I had not heard of DUANE Hanson (the picture to the left is of one of his sculptures) or ERICA Hill, but their names became clear via the crosses.

The break came when I entered PIC at 24D and figured out SNAPCHAT for 34D: Disappearing communication system? A modern answer and a clever clue there. So the remainder of the SW fell, which allowed me to get WITSEND and then BIKINIWAX - I'm not sure that that's really a "hair-raising" so much as a "hair-ripping" experience, but I'll go with it.

I figured out LITCRIT at 49A: Novel opinions, informally?, although I nearly second guessed myself with the PC of PCGAME. I'll finish with a number of good clues and answers - 29D: Best successor (STARR) took way too long to figure out. 33D: Change color, maybe (REACT) is very good - I initially expected REdye and much prefer the actual answer.

40D: Need to practice? (BAREXAM) is very good. I thought "license" at first. 12D: Under-age temptation (JAILBAIT) was unexpected. I had hoped for something a tad more innocent, such as "alcohol". How 1950s of me. And last, but certainly not least, 57A: They're taken to go (LAXATIVES) was a real hoot. It was the second to last answer in for me, with the B of BAREXAM finishing off the puzzle.

Outstanding, in my opinion. Good luck to Horace! I hope the solving went well today.

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. 31:44
    Well, you mentioned all of my favorites. For a Saturday, this went very fast. One of the surprising answers for me was 62A Option for giving food a bite (LEMONZEST); I was expecting some pepper name for that answer. As for 10A Cry of mock enthusiasm (OHJOY), the famous story of my wife's middle name (Joy) is that, after the births of their four boys, at her birth one or both of her parents said "Oh Joy, it's not a boy" and bestowed on her that moniker. Probably Horace knows of that story.