Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015, Erin Rhode


IMATALOSS to come up with criticisms to level at a puzzle that begins with MANSPLAIN (1A: Patronizingly point out, in modern lingo). Hardly anything HITANERVE (58A: Touched on something touchy), and several clues/answers made me smile. I guess sometimes you can HAVEITALL (32D: What many career women strive to do).

Well, ok, if forced to TAKEAnoteherLOOK, I could, perhaps, quibble with ODESA (46A: City south of Kyiv), but even then, it's interesting to see that alternate spelling for Kiev. But if all I have to concede is that - and, OMG, STERE (21A: Firewood unit) (WTF?) - ... and are we going to complain about IVSOYER, or ALTE (51D: ____ Sprachen (ancient languages: Ger.) (Ach!)? NO! I will not be PROTEAN in this review! Wait, am I already? Well, in response, I can only say SORRYIMNOTSORRY.

Other good stuff included 6D: Spitting image in the Andes? (LLAMA), 31D: Locale of some Swiss banks (RHINE), 40A: Space race? (EWOKS), and 24A: Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" (GALE). That's some good trivia, there! Frannie, the linguist, was exited by NASALCONSONANTS, but she was split on NSA, because while she loves metadata, she does not love illegal wiretapping.

I did not recognize the name Erin Rhode (isn't it funny how long it took to come up with RHODE given the clue "31A: ____ Island?" No? You didn't have that problem?...) so I looked at xwordinfo (a site I highly recommend... it's right over there on the sidebar!) and lo and behold this is her first puzzle! Very impressive debut, in my opinion.

- Horace


  1. 34:06
    I agree that this is an excellent puzzle. The pair of UBOAT/LUSITANIA was excellent, as was PORKY (18A Famous stutterer). The Dorothy GALE thing is something that I never knew or heard in my life, despite having seen the movie at least fifty times; I guess that's in the book, which I've never read. On my first pass through this puzzle I was quite worried, but then things started falling into place steadily. I've heard STERE before, but needed four of the crosses to get it. The last letter I filled in was the final "O" in TOGO (52A Restaurant request). I stared at TOG_ for a good minute and a half before that hit me, since OYER was completely unknown to me. It was very satisfying to get the "Congratulations" box upon entering that letter.

    1. I was just saying to Frannie today that I like knowing that a puzzle can still strike fear in me. It happened on "tomorrow's" puzzle, which took us over an hour, working on it together. And when we dropped in our last letter (also an O, coincidentally), we were both nearly shocked to see the Congratulations!

    2. As of this writing (1:44 PM Monday), I'm 47:48 into the Saturday puzzle (having now finished both the Sunday and Monday offerings) and I've got a couple of sticky spots I'm still trying to work out. I may give up, but not until I've tried for at least another hour. Congratulations on your Congratulations.