Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Joel Fagliano


Well OK, it's "stunt puzzle" number three, and so far this is my favorite by a longshot! Mr. Fagliano, you had me at ALLYALL (14A: *Southern pronoun). Franny likes to throw that around from time to time. And frankly, the bilaterally symmetrical entries look really weird if you stare at them for a while. GIORGIO (16A: *Designer Armani), MADEMAD (15A: *Angered), DINEDIN (62A: *Enjoyed home cooking), ILLWILL (59A: *Animus), and DOSIDOS (63A: *Square dance moves). I guess it's true that they are divided into equal halves, but don't you kind of want to see things like "damemad" and "lliwill?" Not that you'd be able to clue those very easily, but still...

There was a point in my solve where I had almost nothing on the right hand side except the erroneous "cheetahs" for LEOPARDS (10D: Antelope stalkers) and the equally wrong "mer" for EAU (12D: Poissons swim in it), but I had wanted JOLIET (8A: Illinois city about 40 miles SW of Chicago) from the beginning, and TDS (13D: Passing concerns, for short?) supported it, so I took out "cheetahs" finally, and that set the whole thing in motion. I'm not crazy about ODEUM (9D: Concert hall), or JANDJ (8D: Tylenol producer, for short), or even GIRDUP (19A: Encircle with a belt) (whaa?), but there's enough good in here that I can overlook those three. And SPAYER

I love ONEOFUS (17A: An ally), which is another thing Frannie likes to say from time to time. I like EARWIG (45D: Insect with pincers), even though I hate earwigs in real life. MARAT (35D: French revolutionary figure) is fun (and sad). And I like the colloquial nature of answers like UMOKAY (29D: "So I guess that's a thing now"), HIYA (41D: Casual greeting), and GLOM (54D: Latch (onto)). And even though I had no idea who he was, I like the "up and down symmetry" of the answer LON (NOL) (60D: With 60-Down reversed, 1970s dictator).

This isn't spotless, but it's interesting, it's got a Gandhi quote, it's got Latin, French, chess... and it's got some tricky cluing - HERD (41A: Drove), and some fun cluing - TIDE (51D: It comes in waves). 

Overall, thumbs up. 

- Horace


  1. 18:29
    I didn't know JOLIET, but luckily guessed O for ODEUM, of which I'd never heard. I also nearly got into a BADSPOT with MARAT (never heard of him, either), but once I figured out TOA (49A Ode title words), it was OK. Oddly, I didn't know 61D C20H25N30, commonly (LSD) until I got all three crosses! Maybe I'll memorize that.

  2. 10:57
    I agree with Horace about the symmetry issue. It's a sort of symmetry, but it's not really the BILATERAL SYMMETRY the theme is going for. Don't know that the constructor could have pulled that off. I'm commenting after Thursday's puzzle, which has a different kind of symmetry, and done better.