Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015, Gareth Bain


This one had me at hello (1D: Lawn sport - BOCCE), and kept me happy all the way through. The theme is straightforward and reasonably well carried out. The Beatles revealer (ALLYOUNEEDISLOVE) tells you to put love before each half of each theme answer to get separate phrases. Some of them work better than others ("love game"? I'm not sure what that is), but each of the original answers feels genuine.

But it's the fill where this puzzle really shines, and it makes me feel that, more and more, it's the fill that makes me enjoy solving a crossword. I can appreciate a really well executed theme. But I like uncovering unusual long answers. And this one abounds in them.

9D: Cooked in a clay oven, as in India (TANDOORI) was very nice. I didn't need the portion of the clue about India, but it's a Tuesday. 23D: Like the best bonds (RATEDAAA) was excellent. I balked at putting those As in, but was happy when it turned out to be the right answer.

40D: One who's fluent in both JavaScript and Klingon, say (UBERGEEK) is outstanding. Hurrah for that clue and answer in every way! I like the pair of flowers, MAGNOLIA and DAHLIA, so close to each other. And Germaine GREER and Graham GREENE represent all the Gs you'd ever want in a pair of names.

The NW made me happy. TUSHES, above "Michael, row the boat ASHORE" above Alfred E. NEUMAN. Wonderful.

Are there things I'd rather do without? Sure. TERR is iffy. PLAX I've never heard of, but inferred pretty quickly. MLLE and BCE and ENS and MPAA are less than interesting abbreviations.

But how about that clue for ENTS? (65A: Foes of Saruman in "The Two Towers") So much better than "Tolkien creatures". And AOUT. I love it.


- Colum


  1. 15:04
    I had a good many write-overs on my grid, which I filled out on paper, but ultimately it worked out fine. I've always been a big fan of MATCHGAME and Gene Rayburn, so it was nice to see that reference in the grid, and I made a star next to 7D Singer Bryson (PEABO) because one doesn't see much about that person nowadays. As Huygens, I was happy to see both TRYST and the aforementioned TUSHES. BIRDSNEST soup is something that I've not tried, and probably won't. I think that I could improve my times if I just tried filling in a grid by using only the Across clues or only the Down clues; maybe I'll give that a shot next Monday or Tuesday.

  2. 9:56

    I found this a little harder than usual for a Tuesday. I've never heard of the aforementioned PEABO, for instance, or MITA (photocopiers? really?), I didn't know FLOW right off, but I like having learned it now. But I, too, enjoyed it quite a bit. COSSET is a good word, SHUNT is a gross one. I enjoyed the clue for SCORE (49D: Manage to get, informally), and the more interesting clues for EWER (32D: Common still-life subject), and SARI (49A: Dhaka dress). A solid Tuesday.