Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Bruce Haight


It's only 7:30 AM and I'm already thinking about lunch. We always called them "grinders," but that would probably be harder to squeeze into a phrase than "hero," which is the theme today. The first and second theme answers have HERO right smack dab in the middle - BEACHEROSION and PITCHEROFBEER, and it would have been a little more beautiful if the third could have shared that feature, but LEARNTHEROPES isn't bad, and at least the word HERO is split between other words. Solid enough theme.

The fill, on the other hand, irritated me a little more than it did yesterday. The ever-popular INURE showed up right away in the North, and in the SE we have both EZIO and EZER, neither of which is a household name - at least in this household - but they were mitigated by the fineness of the down necessitating those Zs, CHEESEPIZZA (26D: Pie with no extra toppings). Very nice, that. And it's symmetrical entry URBANSPRAWL (3D: Phenomenon facilitated by freeways), is good fill, too, even if, with BEACHEROSION, it paints an unhappy picture of the modern world.

PARD (45D: Pal on the range) makes me wonder if that's not what Keats meant by "Away! Away! for I will fly to thee,/Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,/But on the viewless wings of Poesy,/Though the dull brain perplexes and retards." I've heard that he was using it as a short form of "leopards," but it makes one wonder, does it not? No... probably not. I wonder if Keats was even aware of it as a short form of "pardner." Can't you just hear him saying to Fanny, "Hey Girl, me and my pards are heading over to faery lands forlorn to see if we can't score some vintage draughts. Meet us later on the country green."


Anywhooo, INRE the puzzle, the NW got me off on the wrong foot, maybe, with its ABRA, AYN, ABBR, and ASSTS, and I don't like AZERA or TIDE, but the theme is solid, and there's some good non-theme stuff - SPLAT, FRAIL, SNARE, ANGLE (55D: It's right at 90˙)... let's call it a wash.

- Horace


  1. 11:01
    I liked this one just fine except for two things (other than the EZIO and EZER already mentioned by Horace). 1) The cross at 28D and 42A since both are prefixes. The "farming" one could end one of several ways and the -flot one is unknown to me. I chose AGRI/AERI, but did it on paper so this could be wrong and IDC. Also, 29A was a strange-looking ABBR: Secys., e.g., but of course that was more easily sussed out. Nice that Pesci's VINNY was in there since it reminds one of Ms. Tomei. Nice clue for SPLAT, which could have been grosser (51A Water balloon sound). Maybe we should get a nice beer pitcher for the Keggermeister.