Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday, June 13, 2015, Brad Wilber and Doug Peterson


It took me a while to get going in this one. I think HAMLET (25A: Source of the line "Madness in great ones should not unwatch'd go") was the first thing I put in, but it was a long while before I got much of anything off of that. Instead I ended up getting into the NE through the gimmies of 42A: Celerity (SPEED), and 33A: "Putting the phone down for a sec" in textspeak (BRB), which gave me CEELOGREEN, and so on. We're big fans of Julia Child, so CORDONBLEU was a welcome entry, as was YODA (10D: Someone who speaks like the quote in 25-Across). I usually find cross-referential clues off-putting, but when they make me laugh, they're all right. The other one today, 31A: Alert at 52-Down (ONAIR), actually ended up giving me WKRP (52D: 1970s-'80s sitcom locale). And now that I look at both of those, perhaps the "one way" reference is better than two clues that refer to each other. I'll have to see if that distinction holds up over time.

This just got better and better as it went along. ZEROWASTE (1A: Ultra-environmental policy) is a great start, and an even better goal. We haven't gotten there yet, but we put out less and less every week, it seems. We don't even fill one kitchen trash bag, and much of it is coffee pucks from the espressos. I know, those could go into the compost pile, but I think we might end up having a backyard that smelled like coffee after a while.... which, come to think of it, might not be all that bad...

But I digress. 60A: Criminal who welcomes a hanging? (ART FORGER) is a very, very nice clue. 26D: Dating standard (ANNODOMINI), too, was excellent. And it crosses UNIBROW (35A: Sign of lycanthropy, to some), HAMLET, RINGO, and the well-clued DESTINY (43A: It's often met "on the road taken to avoid it," per Jean de la Fontaine). I had "trouble" in there for a while. And I can't let the wonderful REGIFT (45D: Pass along, with dubious propriety) go without a mention.

I was not familiar with this definition of VIRTU (48D: Bent for collecting curios), and I didn't know 1D: Reimann ___ function (ZETA), nor had I heard the term TAXISQUAD (17A: Group of practice-only NFL players), so that T cross was an educated guess. That's the way it should be, though, on Saturdays. If I don't learn something from the end of The Turn, I feel a little cheated. No such disappointment this week!

- Horace


  1. 16:12
    Outstanding puzzle. My only complaint is the crossing of UBANGI and GOOS. I had cOOS in there for a long time, only it didn't look quite right with UBANcI, but it could have been. I guess also that EMERGE crossing SERGES felt a little duplicative.

    So many things made me smile in this puzzle. YODA is outstanding. TAXISQUAD wasn't immediately obvious to me, but once I had ROXY in place, I got it: turns out it comes from Cleveland Browns owner Paul Brown who put these players on the payroll of his taxi company, although they didn't have to drive the cabs (source: Wikipedia). STANLEE got me: I was looking for a character, rather than a creator.

  2. ~2 Hours
    I finished most of this puzzle in around 1/2-hour, but that NW had me flummoxed for at least ninety more minutes (I didn't time it). TEANECK went in first, then OTIS, then I changed what I'd put in at the end of 17A (teAm) to SQUAD and the ETD, SPURN, URN, ACQUIT and EXOTICPET went in, followed by EXAM. AMYS went in right away on my first pass through this puzzle, so that was no problem. ROXY was a guess, ZEROWASTE followed and then, finally, TAXISQUAD which gave ZETA (which I didn't know right off the bat). I thought EMERGE was tricky (49A Stop playing hide-and-seek and also loved YODA, since he is not really associated with HAMLET as far as I remember.