Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015, Paul Hunsberger


Why do we have to have circles? Wouldn't it be more fun to figure out the theme without the visual aid? In this case, I didn't really need the help, but once you get what's going on, the circles enable you to fill in letters without any crosswording skillz. Yeah, I'm just that street, that I can put a 'z' on the end of a word to make it look more interwebsy.

That being said, I liked todays theme, especially in that the first appearance of the word BAND is split across two words (URBANDESIGN). BROADMINDED and WHIPPERSNAPPERS are fine entries. I will pick a nit with HAREBRAINEDIDEA: I expect it's allowable, but I would more typically think of a "scheme" as being hare-brained, and in fact, that's what comes up on Google first. But it's a small nit, because "idea" works fine.

I really enjoyed LANDHO for some reason, as well as SWINDLED and USURPS. The latter gets real kudos for being put against the edge of the puzzle in the SE. Had to come up with two words that end in U, and the choices of URDU and NASSAU are both acceptable. I also liked the reference to LEN Cariou, who so masterfully originated the roles of Sweeney Todd and Fredrik Egerman on Broadway.

I really did not like REEARN. AIRER has been a longtime bugaboo of mine. No other frankly annoying words, but a ton of 3-letter answers, 28 of them, and that adds a lot of blah to a puzzle. ITA, ASL, ENS, AGR, MST, SNL, etc. NPR always is okay, especially when the clue references "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" Speaking of which, how many of the loyal readers of this blog have listened to "Ask Me Another"? It's right out of Games Magazine, but funnier.

ELD, though.

- Colum


  1. 6:59

    Odd theme, but I kind of like it too. They rarely factor into my solve in early week puzzles, especially when it's circles, because I seem to be able to completely ignore them as I try to go as quickly as possible. That said, I think this would have been very tricky to figure out without them. Also, on a side note, we always just called them "elastics."

    Lovely shot of Köln. It was between that and a DRAGON, right?

    Aside from the few items you already mentioned, I enjoyed much of the fill today. Is it just me, or does BETITALL look really weird? GETUPS is good, and hey, we haven't seen EEL for ages! Good ol' EEL...

  2. 15:55
    I would have had a tough time seeing the theme without the circles. And we called them either "elastics," as Horace, or "rubber bands," never PLASTICBANDs, but I'll accept it. I liked ADDLE (9D Mix up) because it was a bit of misdirection, IMO, since I thought of a recipe-type-of-mixing at first. I also starred GAY (33D Like the apparel in a certain Christmas carol), but now I don't feel right about that. What, no mention of ASTI, Colum? Ahh, Italia.

    1. ELASTICBAND, you mean. ELK is the big bugler, or whatever - a clue I didn't love. Do they make a bugling sound? Are they famous for it anywhere but above the arctic circle?

    2. Well, no, I meant pLASTICBAND, I guess. I didn't understand the pLK thing; I thought it must have been some sort of abbreviation, but of course, there was no abbreviation in the clue, so...anyhoo, FWOE.