Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015, David Woolf


Wow, this went by fast. It helped that I put in SEALEDWITHAKISS as my first entry. And can I just say that this puzzle shows how stacks can work? First off, there are 6 really solid 15-letter answers, with only one of them using a plural to fit in. And the clues are pretty darned good for those entries also.

16A: Like a hot mess (ALLOVERTHEPLACE) is fine, but 17A: Where everything has been checked (BAGGAGECAROUSEL) is better. I had the first part of the clue entered on its own for a short time until I got more down answers later in the stack.

The lower set of three are better. 50A: They're good for the long haul (TRACTORTRAILERS) is the lone plural, but it fits well. The best clue is at 53A: Game with one round (RUSSIANROULETTE). That's superb stuff there. And no unnecessary question mark! 54A: Like many floor cleaners (ONHANDSANDKNEES) is clever in the exchange of the inanimate "floor cleaners" products for the ones doing the floor cleaning.

So, having put together some fine stacks, do the crosses suffer? Sure, we can pull out some questionable items. 6D: U. wish? (DEG) is a stretch. MILERUN is what the race is called, but feels awkward. Don't we just say the record for running the mile? 52D: I.R.S. employee: Abbr. (AUD) is really not good. Why is that "Abbr." in the clue? Isn't the abbreviation of Internal Revenue Service enough to express an abbreviation in the answer? DTEN is marginal: I like the reference to Battleship, but the mixture of letter and number, not so much.

But in other answers and clues, there's some excellent stuff. 7D: Get a lock on, e.g. (WRESTLE) is a nice piece of misdirection. 39D: Light bite site (BISTRO) was a cute clue. I love 49D: Web content (SILK). Did not expect that direction at all.

Weird to have ELANTRA and TANTRA both in the grid. HANGS is right next to HOMIE, which makes sense. ACUPS is a Huygens entry, IASSUME. And how about 18A: F-, H-, and I-, but not G- (ANION)? That's a pretty clever clue.

Those are some pretty serious muscles, there.

- Colum


  1. 14:33
    I crushed this one. I'll take ACUPS, but only under protest. I never heard of KLU, so I needed all of the crosses, but there were no problems in this puzzle at all. The stacks were excellent (I'm surprised that Colum enjoyed them; I thought that was not his thing, so much, although maybe that's just the quad stacks). Interesting trivia re: ATMOS (22A Greek for "vapor"). What, SELFIE is going to start appearing in grids now? Also, nice A&C reference (ALGIERS), a movie that I've seen many times.

  2. 15:56

    Wow, nice time. And I thought I breezed through this one! I agree that the 15s are all quite nice. I know you said it, but I've got to just say again that "Where everything has been checked" and "Like many floor cleaners" are excellent clues. And I also like the "stats" clue for ORR. But in "The Deer Hunter," RUSSIANROULETTE had more than one round, so I take points off for that one.

    Maybe it's a Britishism, but I've definitely heard MILERUN, and, btw, I knew that one off the clue, too. And perhaps one of your reviews from earlier this week prepped me, but I also got GALEN without much trouble. Also, a friend's son is named Galen, and when I met him, I looked the older one up.

    A good Friday, if a little easy.