Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015, Allan E. Parrish


It's a simple theme: rearrange the letters AEGLN into four 5-letter words and make 11- and 12-letter answers with the words. Does it work? I like JESSICALANGE. I do not like CONRADNAGEL (who? turns out he was in 54 silent movies and 57 talkies between 1918 and 1959). 27A: It's not right (OBLIQUEANGLE) gets best clue among the four. FALLENANGEL is very good. Three out of four is pretty good but not great.

Could we have done better? Let's see. Thomas Nagel is a well-known philospher and professor at Columbia, but that hardly seems less recherche than Conrad. I would have enjoyed "vein of Galen", which is one of the large draining veins of the brain. "Glean" seems essentially unusable. So perhaps I'm picking nits, but I would like all four theme answers to have the same level of "pop."

The rest of the fill is not remarkable exciting. AEIOU is sort of silly stuff, and RIATA is stale as they come. AZT, GEO, GRR, NAN (I'd spell it "naan", myself), OTC, OOX (!!!), UGH crossing UGG, and even FALALA, are all poor fill. And that's a lot. And seriously, ASTI again? That's the fourth time in a week. YAYA. Oof.

I like BOLSHOI. BRANDI and MIA fill the quota of women U.S. soccer players. AGGREGATE is a fine down answer, better than LETSDANCE, which I think most of us would like to forget is a David Bowie song.

Finally, what's with 57D (KNOW) being clued by a Minnesota radio station on a Tuesday? Especially with all of those annoying 3-letter answers providing the crosses. Seems out of line with the rest of the puzzle.

So I guess I'm giving it a thumbs down.

- Colum


  1. 8:37
    I liked UGH/UGG, MOE, AGGREGATE (nice word) and QUELL coming off of OBLIQUEANGLE. I thought that GERMY (71A Like bathroom doorknobs) was gross, and didn't mind CONRADNAGEL. I'll agree with Colum on NAN, but all-in-all I enjoyed the puzzle. Things like multiple ASTIs in a week must be luck of the draw. ANNALS always reminds me of Tacitus, which is a fun read, IMO.

  2. 6:25

    GERMY was gross, I agree. And furthermore, they shouldn't be, because it is assumed that everyone washes his or her hands before they leave a bathroom, and on the other side, why should it be any more or less GERMY than any other doorknob? I really didn't like that one. And I don't particularly like "Rainy day protection" for NESTEGG either. That's not how I think of a NESTEGG. But maybe that's just because I don't have one, and therefore don't fully understand the concept. Hah!

    Not my favorite Tuesday.