Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015, Jacob Stulberg


The theme became clear very quickly; in fact, I had that portion of the puzzle solved without answering most of the actual clues. The only part I had difficulty with was the end, namely, the "NO2". I had figured out the H2O, but second guessed myself because I didn't like REDNO2 as an answer (I wanted "red dye no. 2", and considered entering those extra letters as rebus squares, only that made no sense).

The family and I saw the painting in question in person last year at a recreation of the famous ARMORYSHOW at the New York Historical Society in NYC. It was truly the most remarkable piece of art there, arresting and astonishing, even now, a hundred years after the fact. I also recall really liking Edvard Munch's art.

With respect to the puzzle, I enjoyed the main theme section, which is constructed artfully, and allows for the very nice long answer BESMIRCHED and the less successful SEASCENTED. Of course there are a whole slew of 3-letter answers and crosswordese to make it work, including ENIAC, ODED, SARDI, LGA, and AST. But they didn't bother me much at all.

The peculiar aspect of the puzzle is the two separate mini-puzzles in the NE and SW. These were so much more difficult because of the relative lack of theme material and the large chunky areas of white space. I liked LATIN and AMEN next to each other, with the "prayers" pair of clues. How about ENAMORED and ESTEEMED together? I also enjoyed the reference to AIRPLANE, although "The Sequel" hardly lived up to the original.

It's an odd bird of a puzzle, but I enjoyed it.

- Colum


  1. 28:48
    I'd heard of this painting, but had not ever seen it until Colum's post above. When I filled in the final square I received the "Puzzle Completely Filled" communication, but could find any error despite spending significant time going through the grid. It turns out that the "2" that I'd entered was not accepted by Across Lite. Once I changed it to [TWO] it congratulated me. That, to me, is not acceptable. No one writes H[TWO]O or REDNO[TWO]. I'll take the successful completion. I AGREE about "AIRPLANE, the Sequel" being sub-par. I'd like to see 49D Utterly (STARK) begin being clued with "Ironman" references; let's get with the times. We could have had a nice pair of superhero clues with that and 13D "The Canterbury Tales" pilgrim (REEVE) had it, also, been clued differently. My favorite today: 53D Little nothing (TWERP).

  2. 17:26

    It's almost unbelievable to me, Huygens, that you had not seen this painting before. Did you never take an art history class?

    Anyway, yes, I had the same problem Colum had with the ending here. I flailed for quite a while, thinking of REDtwo, HhO, and maybe even some other things, before coming to the realization that they were going to have one of those puzzles where there is just one number in the whole thing. I think the last time they did that was with WINDOWS7, or 8, or whatever number it was.

    Loved the theme, but was crushed by the ending. Really, I had multiple FWOEs, or FWTEs, or whatever it is. grrrr...