Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015, Tom McCoy


A fun theme today. I love it when the revealer, or a clue, for that matter, is just so blatant. I think the first one I got was NEMONAUTILUS (10D: Example from sci-fi literature), but that's only because I tried "blacK" for SAJAK (1A: White's partner), and didn't realize that that was a bit too blatant until maybe JIGS (3D: Lively dances) and ATE (4D: Polished off) (they just love this kind of clue!) went in, and then those other two captains and ships came very quickly: AHABPEQUOD (2D: Example from classic American literature) and KIRKENTERPRISE (5D: Example from television).

My favorites might have been CRUNCHGUPPY (63D: Example from advertising) and LINCOLNUSA (75D: Metaphorical example from poetry). Those are very nice.

My favorite non-theme clue was 42A: 7/11 product? (QUOTIENT). Beautiful.

Least favorite clue: 102A: Helpful household pets (RATTERS). Yuck, just yuck. Where these are helpful, a household should not exist.

Overall, the fill felt like a mixed bag. Some lovely, some strained. I know that this is very often the case, but as I was solving, I felt this tipped a bit toward the "strained" side. ONAGER, CENTIMO, BIOTA, and lots of abbreviations. It played hard for me, maybe that's all it was. I mean, the theme was good, and it seemed to be adequately dense... let's call it a wash.

- Horace


  1. Cece and I finished this one together. Got the theme very quickly, and once AHABPEQUOD went in, KIRK... and NEMO... followed on its heels. Two nice hidden capitals with 1A: White's partner (SAJAK) - no question mark, and 49A: Begin's opposite? (SADAT) - so why the question mark there? I also liked 55A: One who aims to hit singles? (CUPID). I also like JENGA TOWER (structure that gets less stable with time). I found the overall quality of fill for a Sunday to be about typical, maybe slightly better than typical. And in addition, FOVEA, a favorite for Neurologists. And GERUND got me yet again (115A: Coming or going, say).

  2. This was a tough one for me, especially the SW, SE and NE. GERUND, ERASES and RABAT were slow to come because I had HOOKJeLLYRO___ for quite a while; ELAPSE, TEMPER and OXEYES were slow because RESEE and CRUNCHGUPPY were both slow; and CABALS, AFLCIO, PRIMLY and ROGETS all took awhile because so did CAPRIS, even though it shouldn't have. All-in-all, I'd say this took around two hours, which is quite slow for a Sunday. I liked the theme, but not the puzzle too much, and since I solved on paper, I can't even guarantee that it's all correct, although I think it is.