Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday, June 23, 2015, David Poole


I got the lead out pretty quick on this one. BRUCELEE (9D: Kato potrayer in "The Green Hornet") went in immediately, and I wanted LI[PB]ALM for "10D: Blistex products" but, of course, it didn't fit, so I put in "LIP" and left it at that. KEATS (12D: "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever" poet), too, went in immediately, so when I came to 19A: Optimistic (U[PB]EAT), well, that was it. Well, except for the revealer, LEADBELLY (61A: Legendary guitarist ... or a hint to eight answers in this puzzle), which took me several crosses. It's not that I haven't heard of him, but perhaps it's that I don't really think of him as so much a "legendary guitarist" as I do a "legendary folk singer." Still, nice revealer. It might have been better if the "bellies" had been dead-center in the answers, or if the revealer had included the rebus somehow, but one can't have everything, can one.

In other news... there is a severe lack of BRASSERIEs (31D: Restaurant that might serve steak frites) in this country... but I suppose they must be referring to the ones that are here, because overseas it might be harder to find "steak frites," whatever those are, at a brasserie. And speaking of indulging, OVEREATER was nicely clued with "11D: One taking extra courses?" I suppose some will argue with the question mark there, and I will not argue with those arguing. 

The North is abbreviation-heavy, and BELG seems an odd abbreviation for Belgium, but the rest are common enough. GOOP coming out of the PEEPER is gross, as is SCAB. And does 4D: Mea culpa" really mean APOLOGY nowadays? Hmm... after a quick perusal of online sources, I guess it sort of does, but it still feels odd to me. 

As you can maybe sense, I didn't fully love this one. I always enjoy a rebus, but there were just little things (and big things, like INANEST) that rubbed me the wrong way. I loved 49D: Like M, L or XL, but not S (ROMAN), and 59D: Adam's apple site? (EDEN), though, and the other stuff I already mentioned, so let's give it a thumb's up overall.

- Horace


  1. 13:31
    Didn't get the theme for quite some time. My first thought was that Lead Belly's real name had the initials PB, which would have been extremely obscure. After finding out that his name was Huddie William Ledbetter, I was at a loss, until I took the revealer literally.

    Anyhoo, a puzzle that starts with an extremely outdated Maleska era crosswordism, and then crosses it with ASPCA and SHOED (oof) was not off to a great start. I got the rebus at DEE[PB]LUE. I started looking for the J elsewhere... Not to be found.

    APULIA crossing PALMA... SUCRE... ODEONS... PEEPER... INANEST. These are a few of my least favorite things. A lot of place names, including FTLEE which fooled me not one bit. ATTN, ASSN, ABA, BELG.

    There were a few I liked, as in BRUCELEE, APOLOGY, RAS[PB]ERRY. Not all bad, just not that great in my book.

  2. 43:20
    About 30 minutes in, as I was slogging along thinking of answers that I wished would go in but wouldn't fit, I said to myself "if only I figured out what the rebus was, I could finish this damned thing!" That's when I got to the SE and filled it in, including the revealer, looked back at trouble spots, said "Aha!" and finished the puzzle in around three minutes. I like the chemistry theme, but I think I'll put my thumb sideways. I didn't like ROMAN...I mean they're ROMAN numerals (or numbers, more properly), because the Romans used the S in their writings since it's part of the Latin alphabet, so if we're just talking letters, they're all ROMAN. Maybe I am wrong, but that's what I thought. I'll look it up after this. I agree with Colum: too many place names and bad things in this grid; it wasn't worth the rebus to me. I thought that 32A Ken, to Barbie (BEAU) was nice, and I put KEATS in right away, too. I guess I know some things.