Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015, Jason Flinn


This theme is almost mind-blowing in its complexity. At first, I thought it was inconsistent, because I thought it odd that "mortal sin" was misspelled in MORTALSYNONYM (39A: Deadly or human). But then I realized that "toponym" and "metonym" are actual words, and that the secondary formations of "mountain top," "black ant," and so on, are just icing on the cake. It's beautiful, really.

That said, I almost don't care what the fill is, but it's still quite good. SPARERIB (34D: Part of a rack) (I'm sure Huygens was thinking of something else here), MONSOON (38D: Rainmaker?), ANTIOCH (5D: Third-largest city of the Roman Empire) (almost impossible to get off the clue, but interesting trivia nonetheless), LOOPHOLE (9D: Something exploited by a tax adviser), and RANTRACK (4D: Was a high school sprinter, say) (I put this in with no crosses) are all good. I had never before heard the name ALEK (18D: Model ____ Wek), and LTYR, NAT, and REDYES (40D: Changes the locks again?) aren't that great, but who cares? We've got AMPULES, SMUT, BREAM, ATHENIANS and AEROSMITH. I say, thumbs way up.

- Horace


  1. 11:57
    Yeah, I love this theme also, although I figured out that they'd all end in NYM or NYMS which got the entire east half of the puzzle. I had a lot of difficulty with the NW corner, especially SAMI (apparently Laplanders, but I'd never heard it before) and APIAN which wasn't as much of a joke as I thought it would be from the question marked clue. I also don't get how SHOE is the answer for "Last place?" - any ideas? ODEUM is an atypical answer for theater - I expected ODEon. Overall very happy with the puzzle.

    1. Because a shoe is where you (or, really, maybe someone fifty years ago) put a last, to keep its shape. I loved that answer - once I figured it out!

  2. Annie knew ANTIOCH from the clue and the H.
    And yes, ATHENIANS and AEROSMITH in the same puzzle is pretty good. However, while SAMI seems to be an accepted spelling according to the web, anyone with our heritage knows that it's really SAAMI.

  3. 58:31
    I was, in fact, thinking that the "rack" clue could have had a more racy answer, but alas. I don't like those "third-largest" kind of clues; they are more properly found in a Webster Times puzzle, but I'll accept it in this case. SMUT, POKER, SPUNK, GEEK and SPACE were all very nice. And any Dr. Seuss reference (AWHO) is great on its own, but the odd look of that in the grid was icing on the cake.