Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, David Phillips


Like yesterday, I had a hard time getting started in the NW. Probably because I entered tinS, then binS at 1A (Containers in a pantry - JARS). So, actually nearly a minute spent sorting out that mess. After that, nothing was too complex.

The theme is cute, with MIDTERMS being the revealer, and each long across answer having "term" hidden in the exact middle (i.e. the same number of letters on each side). In three of the four answers, the "term" is split across two words or two halves of a compound word. The last, UNDETERMINED, it's just in the middle. A little inconsistency there, but no big deal from my point of view. My favorite is MASTERMIND, because:

It's a little disappointing to have LATERMAN and LATELY in the same grid. I also am not fond of Marshal NEY, or BOL as an abbreviation of Bolivia. Apparently ILA is the International Longshoremen Association. Were they involved in all that mess regarding the California ports strikes recently? My kids don't like the word MOIST.

Outside of those issues, we had some fun long down clues, including METROAREA, and AASINAPPLE. BAILINGOUT and CLOSELOOK are also fine entries. I never read The Natural by Bernard MALAMUD, but I still knew who they were referring to.

I also very much like ALISON BRIE, who in addition to Mad Men, was in Community for some time.

The cluing was essentially straightforward and unremarkable, which, I guess, describes the puzzle as a whole.

- Colum


  1. 12:31
    I wanted tinS in 1A, but didn't put it in because I couldn't think of anything to do with caffeine that could start with a "t." Also, I had _____APPLE for 11D, but was reluctant to put IMBACK for 8A because of the resulting AA___APPLE with three spaces remaining. This block cost me a minute or so. I enjoyed the puzzle and the theme, although I didn't star any clues. Favorite: MONSTERMOVIE; I used to quite enjoy the weekly "Creature Double Feature."

  2. 8:41

    This one felt a little harder than Tuesday's sometimes do. I wanted "AisforAPPLE," but that didn't fit, of course, and it took me forever to come up with the real thing.