Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015, Jeremy Newton


Untimed, completed with my mother and Cece in NYC.


I almost think that should be the entirety of my review today. I am highly impressed with the construction of this puzzle, without any major sacrifice in terms of fill. The complexity and density of the theme is astonishing, and a heck of a lot of fun as well!

We figured out the theme pretty quickly: we got into the grid in the SW, where Cece gave us Richard GERE. We recognized that 111A: Food processor? would have something to do with digestion, but it wasn't until my mother suggested something to do with "legal" for 107A: Driver's license, but not a credit card, e.g., that everything fell into place. I had gathered from the title that the long answers would take a ninety degree turn upwards, but I never expected that four answers in each section would do it. So we get LEGALI/D, DIGESTIVEA/ID, UNAFR/AID, and PANTY/RAID.

And it's done a total of six times in the puzzle, but to add to the complexity, on the right side of the puzzle, it's the ends of the words that turn left and go up, but on the left side of the puzzle, the ends of the words turn left and head across. And to top off the theme, there's a revealer set in symmetric spots at 38A and 91A (CLIMBING/THEWALLS). Because, in fact, the answers climb the left and right walls of the grid.

I liked 22A: They can knock out lightweights (ST/RONGDRINKS) because I was stuck on thinking about boxing. Cece suggested the answer eventually. Talk about a lightweight knocking one out! NOTE/TOSELF is good, as is DE/CISIONTREE, which almost feels like an added theme element, as each of these sections of answers is like a tree.

The rest of the puzzle is fine as well. Nice long answers like SCRAPHEAP, HASASMOKE, PEACHPIE and EDGINESS. The clue for NYSENATE was sadly non-condemning. I would have preferred "Grp. that causes shame in Albany". I loved the clue for 19A: Parks staying put (ROSA). We did not get that one until all the crosses were in place. I also liked 36A: Like sweat and some moccasins (BEADED).

High quality, especially for a Sunday.

- Colum


  1. Totally agree. I think I let out an audible "wow," too, when I realized what was going on. Heck of a puzzle. And you didn't even mention the (obvious, I guess) fact that the letters that run up the walls are, themselves, words when read down. It's just beautiful, really.

    I ripped through this (relatively, for me) one in just under 31 minutes. I'll take it as a good sign, since I'd been having so much trouble getting out of puzzles cleanly last week. I'm going to try to do at least a week's worth of puzzles every day this week to prepare for the ACPT, which takes place this coming weekend. Wish me luck!

  2. 37:06
    Good luck. And I will add my name to the list of those thinking this puzzle was awesome and fun. PANTYRAID was fantastic, and how about TASMANIANDEVIL and LESSEREVIL with the backwards LIVER (60D Source of bile), even though I thought that was the gallbladder until I looked it up and saw that it's just a holding area for the bile produced by the liver. Colum probably knew that.