Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, Peter A. Collins


An interesting theme today of a condiment stacked on a foodstuff. HOTFUDGE covers ICECREAM (19A: Soda shop offering), CHEESE is on the BURGER (18A: Fast-food offering), and so on. Very nice, really, to have a different kind of theme. I don't say it's never been done before, but I've been doing the dailies for a few years now, and I don't remember seeing it before. So that's good.

On the less good side, we have things like AGITA (51D: Unease), MRES (58D: Dinners for G.I.s), and GENET (22D: French playwright Jean) (who?), but really, the compromises are limited, and there's a lot more good, long fill in the Downs than there is objectionable stuff.

Any mention of DEFCON (4D: Multilevel military readiness system) makes me smile - though it probably shouldn't - and I also liked SHUTOUT, WATERGUN, and the full CANOLAOIL (32D: Cooking medium). I've always heard that "canola" was just a word made up so that Americans didn't have to say "rapeseed" when talking about this particular kind of oil, but now, from the great Wikipedia, I learn that it actually is a slightly modified version of rapeseed that was made in Canada in the 1970s, thus the prefix "can." And here I was just saying that I liked to learn things from the late-week puzzles... turns out I can learn something from just about any puzzle!

So where was I? Oh, right, I see REGALER, which I forgot to mention above in the "minus" section, but then I also see MEMES, which I like, and PERSE (12D: Intrinsically: Lat.), which, sadly, for one who has recently read Vergil, Lucretius, and Horace in the original, took me forever to come up with. I also kind of like the ONKP, CBSTV, and NOMSG.

Overall, I like it.

- Horace


  1. 6:47
    Played slow for a Tuesday. The theme is fine: cute idea, carried out reasonably well. The only little nitpick I have is that in two cases there's an extra word of the same number of letters above or below. So there's a LOGJAM of ONIONS on that HOTDOG? Or is there a CHEESE BURGER on the STAIRS?

    My favorite answer was ASTERISKS (3D: They're next to some records). Entered off the A of IPAD. There are some other nice bits (love the clue for SIMON), but there is a whole lot of meh. MOSE INLA REVUP SCAUP (?!). And bad duplication between 49D: It might accompany a wave in Waikiki (ALOHA, cute clue) and 39A: What a surfer catches (WAVE). I know they're different meanings, but really not so much.

    I guess overall I liked it okay; just above 50%.

  2. 11:01
    I didn't mind AGITA or MRES, but I agree with the other mentions, especially SCAUP, a word which I'd not previously heard. DEFCON is great, as is the theme. VEGAS reminds me that that's one place that Sue and I have often spoken of visiting but have not as yet; we should start getting around more. Nice that GTO is atop REVUP. I liked the clues for the oft-seen POSSE (40A Entourage) and THROATS (21A Ruby parts of some hummingbirds). Even though the latter was a gimme, I thought that Sue would have enjoyed it.