Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday, May 16, 2015, David Phillips


A really tricky Friday, all around! Initials were used in a number of places, along with a number of proper names I didn't know and a slew of smart clues.

Color me silly for not remembering that it was KIMJONGUN and not Kim Jong Il or Kim Il Sung, both of which I tried in one form or another. In addition, before I even got there, I chose to enter Bill Russell as the Celtics Hall-of-Famer, instead of KCJONES. It took me a long time to remember his name, despite watching him coach all those great Celtics teams of the 80s. Add in the obscure INACLAIRE, and that corner was tough. I did remember DARKANGEL though.

21D: Grp. of 300 people? (PBA) was seriously tough to get. The crosses were fair for a Friday, though.

The second part of GIGAHERTZ was the first thing I put in the grid with any degree of certainty. I got STRASSE, ART (cute clue there), and AGE quickly, but it took a long time to get into the SW. At first I put in usMAGAZINE, which frankly makes little sense, given the slogan. I got the GQ much later. Very racy answer at 33D, which I expect Huygens will enjoy. The QUEENIE reference I couldn't get without most of the crosses.

SYNTHETIC is a fine word, tough to get off the succinct clue ("Fake"). 53A: Families often share them (DATAPLANS) had me going down the wrong path for a while, thinking of genetic traits. 59A: ones getting passes (RECEIVERS) is precise and clever. Best clue in the puzzle, IMO.

LOCALTV, IMPEI, and ADAWARE added to the toughness of the SE corner. Fortunately, I knew ODIN, and could figure out PILSNER off a couple of crosses. Mmmmm... beer...

29A: Goes one step too far? (TRESPASSES) would have ranked up there with 59A, had the question mark been removed. Clearly unnecessary here. 20D: Top-secret disguises? (TOUPEES) is really excellent cluing as well. So is 27D: Experience a minor crash? (NAP). Great stuff.

I don't like RERATES, ATTIRER, or INSCALE (the last feels like it should be "to scale"). The two French possessives (ATOI, SES) are mildly annoying place fillers. I've heard of Stephen AMBROSE, but I couldn't have recalled him at all without most of the crosses here.

But despite all that, a fine Friday.

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. 26:43

    Ugh, I'm at the airport, where I just finished this puzzle, and my flight will start boarding in a few minutes, and I just wrote a longish review that was wiped out because I forgot AGAIN to save it before posting just in case I wasn't logged in. Oh well.

    Anyway, I liked this one a lot. You mentioned many good clues, but I also liked 58A: It's got teeth (GEAR), partly because it took me so long to get! I had "armoire" in for ATTIRER for a while, which would have been better, but, of course, wouldn't have worked as well with these crosses. :) And PBA - I just got that now! Is that the Pro Bowlers Association? Wow. Tough. But I like how it kind of goes with another hard one "200 at a 500" LAPS. That, too, was slow to come. There were the few compromises you mentioned, but overall, this was a good, tough struggle.