Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015, Martin Ashwood-Smith


Horizontal symmetry allows for just a single quadstack from Mr. Ashwood-Smith, but he makes the most of it with four very nice 15s. They are crossed by some excellent material, and some not so excellent. That's often the case, but here, I think, the excellent wins out. ASAMI harkens back to yesterday's "Sami people" clue, and AREI, while odd-looking, is at least a reference to Robert Frost, so that's nice (53D: "Whose woods these ____ think ... ": Frost). MISADAPT is the outlier in the "over 5-letter" set, but OPALESCENT (27D: Like moonstones) (a gimme, btw), MANIACAL (35D: Like lunatics' laughter), and CAFEAULAIT (28D: Light brown) (Tough clue!) were all quite good.

A couple names allowed me to get into this quickly, but ARLENEDAHL (11D: "Journey to the Center of the Earth" actress) was not one of them. The other actress in the NE, ANGELINA (8D: Brad's partner in 2005's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith") was, as was ORWELLIAN (23A: Like newspeak and  doublethink). That was a plusgood clue!

The East was where I ended today. I tried "KNot" for a while where the much-less-common KNAR (29D: Bump on a log) belonged, and NAN (48A: ____ A. Talese) (not Gay) was not at all familiar to me. The crosses were fair, though, and the music played, so all's well that ends well, right?

Overall, an enjoyable Friday morning romp.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. 45:41
    I was perplexed by that NE corner for a good half-hour, but once I (finally) put AMRADIO in off of the AM that was there for So Long, I finished it right up. I'm not familiar with "SATCHMO Serenades." I liked the quad stack (Colum probably didn't) and it was a nice touch to have ORWELLIAN and JOHNSTEINBECK one atop the other. I'm completely unfamiliar with cosmetician Adrien ARPEL, but the crosses were just fine. I actually put CAFEAULAIT in once I had the ______ULAIT filled in. MISADAPT is a word I don't use too much. Another nice touch was MANIACAL abutting OSWALD, and I liked the clue for the latter since Oldman is one of my favorite actors, even though he doesn't seem to have been in too much lately. I never heard the term "KNAR" before this puzzle, and I, too, kept KNot in for a little while. CHOCOHOLIC was nicely clued, as were SINE and LESE.