Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Gerry Wildenberg


The theme today seems to be a double S vowel progression, with five two-word answers, each beginning with the letter S and having as their second letter each vowel in order. Kind of cool, but right from the start it feels a little strained with SATURDAYSABBATH (17A: Jewish observance). Is that what it's called? I mean, Saturday is the Sabbath, but does anyone talk about the "Saturday Sabbath?" I don't know. Same with the SOLIDSOUTH (49A: Voting bloc from Reconstruction to the 1960s). I haven't heard this term, but maybe that's just because it only was in place, as they say, until the 1960s. If it ever was a thing, it hasn't been a thing for fifty years, and maybe that's a reason to pick something else. And lastly, the theme made no impact on me, apparently, as I was solving the puzzle, because when I got to 55A: Power strip part (SURGESUPPRESSOR), I tried "surge protector," but it was, of course, one letter too short, not to mention not a "double S" phrase.

So overall, the theme felt a little blah to me today. Did the fill make up for it? Well.... not really. The longest of the non-theme material is one plural French word (cross-referenced twice), and a football player who played his last game before the end of World War II. Meh.

Then there's ALTI, ELAND, ADE, EMOTER, CLARO, PRESEXC... and APU doesn't even get a Simpsons clue! Well, that last isn't really a fair complaint, but it did make that clue much harder for me!

This one just felt a little stale. Sometimes that happens, I guess, and when it does, there's always tomorrow. That's the great thing about a daily puzzle subscription!

- Horace


  1. 19:32
    Well, I made steady progress on this and didn't get hung up anywhere (even with the double French cross), but it still took quite a bit longer than it did Horace. Until the theme was mentioned above, I wasn't aware of it, but it seems nice enough, and knowing it while solving would have helped with my time immeasurably (well, maybe measurably, if I'm being perfectly honest). SIMPLESIMON is my favorite theme answer, but I needed all but three of the crosses to get it. I thought that CLAMOR was nice, as were ICHING, ALLUDE, MOTTST and, especially, the clever 42A Tender person? (CASHIER). I'd have thought that Horace would give a shout-out to 65A Nabisco's Cheese NIPS. And having this happen on occasion, I was able to fill in 47D Is out of alignment, as a car wheel (TOESIN) with only two crosses.

  2. 6:24 FWOE.
    Well, I'm back from DC, and ready to comment on this and previous puzzles. My error came from 44D, where I put in STAREs without thinking and never cross-checked. I stared at TOESIN for a long time, but am glad to hear that Huygens knows it as a real thing. I am not at all fond of the theme. Yes, it is the Jewish tradition to have Shabbat on Saturday, but it is never ever called SATURDAYSABBATH. And SURGESUPPRESSOR is a thing apparently, but it is not a thing I would ever have said. I liked MOTTST because it looks bizarre, and I love the song. At the same time, when you look at the actual lyrics, the "street" is not abbreviated. All right, I'm done.