Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015, David Steinberg

17:34 (FWOE)

What, I come back to do the blog, and I get handed stacks of 16s? My least favorite grid style? Is somebody trying to tell me something? Do you think I could write this whole blog post only in questions? Is that rhetorical?

Yeah, okay, that got tired real fast.

Wait! 16-letter answers?! What just happened here?

So, I had to revise my blog post because I'd missed the fact that they were 16-letters long. Pretty cool, and Mr. Steinberg gets bonus points for breaking the rules. And for a stacking answer puzzle, I don't hate this one. Let's look at those 16-letter answers first. No "one's" in any of them, so that's pretty good. Out of 7 answers, I'd say Mr. Steinberg nails 5, with one pretty good one. I don't like ESCAPEMECHANISMS because I don't really know what that is (I understand the idea, but I've never heard that used as a phrase). I had the "escape" portion early on, but the rest required a bunch of crosses.

MONTECARLOCASINO is pretty good, in that you'd call it that in English.  Maybe. Even though it's officially known as Le Casino de Monte Carlo, which I'd translate as the Casino of Monte Carlo, astonishingly. I know! I'm pretty good at French, non?

The other entries are all solid, with a special nod to LEMONMERINGUEPIE, which always reminds me of Amelia Bedelia.

In the rest of the puzzle, the good fill is mostly in the middle of the grid. FEROCIOUS and ANGELDUST are fine. HOTSPRING is good, and JESUSALOU wins for actually having more than just his last name in the puzzle. We also get some fun cluing, such as 27A: Give to a bank (DONATE), 47A: Refuse at a bar (LEES), and 27D: Street in Hollywood (DELLA) for its hidden capital.

Unfortunately, as is typical, we get a whole slew of ugliness in the stacks. EMTS, CNET, ATS, ACL, NAE, MNEM (!!!), APO, UNS. Well, maybe its not an entire slew. Maybe its a demislew, and that's why I didn't mind this puzzle so much. I did enjoy seeing ELLERY, ERLE, and DAME all in one grid.

I'll give it a thumbs up overall.

Oh! My one error came when I put in hOEG instead of ROEG. I thought I remembered his name correctly, but I didn't. It was reinforced when I put in shAy for PRAM. Anyway, found it after I was done.

- Colum


  1. Blergh. I just spent half an hour writing an extensive comment only to have Blogspot destroy it. I don't think I can recreate the beauty of it at this late hour. I (and all of you all) will have to settle for the bullet point version:
    >HIFITCFAAOII? [How I finished is too complicated for an acronym, or is it?]
    >It was complicated because Horace accidentally helped me with the square I was still working on, but then it turned out I had two other errors, one that might have been corrected if I had figured out ISTHMI (which I don't want to say I hated, but I really, really didn't like)
    >Thought the wording of 18A should have called for the *author* of the work as the answer rather than the title.
    >Like our esteemed reviewer, enjoyed the mystery-themed answers.
    >Was surprised and amazed at *two* references to ERLE Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason series, including everyone's favorite legal secretary DELLA Street.
    >Big fan of the short-lived, TV series Ellery Queen from the seventies starring Jim Hutton. Anyone?
    >Enjoyed 20A. REEFS (Locales for many schools) and 50D. Noodle product (IDEA).
    >Comment very long, stopping now.

  2. Hey! I, too, had a comment eaten by Blogspot today! I wrote one this afternoon before heading out to a party, but I wasn't logged in, and, well... bye bye comment.

    I agree that the 16s were mostly good, and that the whole idea of 16s is audacious, and therefore commendable. I disliked the resulting "compromises" more than you, perhaps, but I applaud Mr. Steinberg (C Division Champion at the ACPT!) on the self-referential ("Crossword" self, not "David Steinberg" self, although I will always remember him for putting his full name right through the middle of one of his earlier crossword) clue for ERTE. I feel that the full JESUSALOU, too, is meant to make regular solvers smile. It made both of us smile, right? And as for DELLA, she can take my briefs any time she wants. Am I right?!?

  3. Oh... in all my excitement about Della, I forgot to mention my time, which was 34:51, and the fact that I had an error too, but different from Frannie's. I guessed REEdS for 20A: Locales for many schools, and failed to check it against "9D: Start of a score" - even though I was thinking music from the beginning on that one! Dammit. Well, sometimes it goes that way.