Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015, Zhouqin Burnikel


Getting closer... Actually, though, I'm not sure how much time I can shave off! It felt like I barely paused, and there's only so much speed you can get with an iPad. Maybe if I did it on the iPad but with a keyboard?

This theme is well done for sure. FACEBOOKBUTTONS is a good 15-letter answer, and I very much enjoyed how Ms. Burnikel twisted the meanings of the three buttons into different senses of the word. Of course, COMMENTCAVA gets the nod for most clever (and it's crossed by VOILA for a very French carrefour). LIKEWHITEONRICE is another great 15-letter answer.

There's some short fill which actually did make me pause: NORAH O'Donnell I'd never heard of, and Josep Maria SERT was an unknown before this.

On the other hand, I'm happy to see UPTON clued to her:

Rather than him:
Also liked LAKEGENEVA, ALMONDROCA, the Volkswagen BEETLE, and SUNSETS.

- Colum


  1. I struggled a little on this one, coming in at a wall-clock timed 8:00, or so. I wasn't really trying to push it, but it still was balkier than most first-of-the-week puzzles. I agree that the theme is well-executed, but I'm not sure that it pops at all. It's modern--sort of--but it's certainly not hip or fresh. I like humor in my Mondays, and this thing was flat as a board (or, the exact opposite of everybody's favorite answer 16-Across. I have never played a modern video game in my life--I'm not counting Intellivision baseball--but I love her commercials for Game of War). I mean seriously, SHAREPRICES?? IMEANIT??? Also, I have always hated the phrase LIKEWHITEONRICE. I've always thought that everyone who says it sounds vaguely racist (Isn't that odd? True, though.) Okay, I did like COMMENTCAVA, maybe because my daughter just got back from France. That one bugged Rex because it was the only one of the theme answers that didn't retain the pronunskiation of the facebook version of the word. Yeah, you really hate to mess with that tight thematic consistency of "Like," "Share," and "Comment." This wasn't all bad (despite the crosswordese dribble of ACLU, OTERI, ASIS, ACTI (which I like if it's clued more cleverly), STD, ECON, ODIE, SST, and ATIT. I learned a couple things: first, that WILCO is radio-speak for "will comply;" second, that there is apparently a brand of toffee candy called ALMONDROCA. And, yeah, LAKEGENEVA is nice and who can argue with SUNSETS and there's always the divine Miss Kate (thanks for the picture, by the way!). P.S. Get to know SERT. He's no "Erte," but he's been around. You'll encounter the muralist again.

  2. 0:05:31

    Jeez, you are killing it on Mondays, Colum!

    And ET59, your comment about Rex makes me wonder why anyone reads him at all these days. All he does is grouse.

    That said, I didn't love this one, either. I've extracted myself fairly successfully from the Facebook world, and the last thing I want is to be reminded of it through the NYT puzzle! I was amazed when ALMONDROCA was correct. I've never heard of that before. What does it even mean?

    SERT's nephew, Josep LluĂ­s Sert, designed a few iconic buildings at your alma mater, Colum, including the science center and Holyoke Center (now re-dubbed The Smith Center). Maybe that'll help you remember him. And hey, I just learned through Wikipedia that he was the one who brought Le Corbusier to America to design the Carpenter Center. Cool.

  3. 10:15
    Well, I'm back (and will fill in the comments that I missed backwards). I didn't love this one too much either, and it ran quite slow for me for a Monday. Of course, I didn't know COMMENTCAVA or ALMONDROCA, but all of the crosses were DANDY. I didn't star anything for this day, so, on to the 12th....

  4. My grandmother on my father's side loved ALMONDROCA, and used to have a can of them on hand at all times. Think of a little round Heath bar, but covered in crushed almonds, and you'll get the gist. And I agree about Rex. It's rare that he comes in with a truly positive review. Last Thursday was one such example, I think.

    The picture of Kate Upton was the, uh, least risque available on Google images...