Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015, Tom McCoy



This Sunday puzzle is made up of mostly pretty decent answers, a reasonable theme, with only a few outstanding answers. And there are a few answers I could really do without.

Pretty much standard fare for a Sunday, no?

The best thing by far is the pair of colloquial long down answers at 16D: "Keep up the fight" (HANGINTHERE) and 65D: "Later!" (IMOUTTAHERE). It's a nice symmetricality, and both phrases are real and often used. I actually had IMOUTofHERE for a while, and couldn't figure out 94A at all, until I noticed that Hestia was was apparently Artemis' fUNT. That didn't seem right...

With respect to the theme, I like that one of the biggest downfalls of puzzles, namely, the abbrev. has been turned into a positive. My favorite two are APTCOMPLEX (apartment complex) and LOOKOUTFORNOONE (look out for number one), because the two answers are humorous. Runner-up is FIRSTPERSONSING. Otherwise, they left me mostly cold.

There are a few pluralized abbreviations in the actual fill, ET59's bugaboo. IQS is probably more acceptable than AMTS. I don't know what FIES is. How can you pluralize an exclamation? It just doesn't make sense. Would you say: "I love Homer's 'D'ohs'"? No, you'd say: "I love it when Homer says 'D'oh'."

Other less than acceptable fill: BITTERER. I'd say "more bitter" because it fits better in conversation. NTUPLE is apparently defined correctly by the clue, but I don't like it much. How about two Britishisms? TONNE and CENTRES.

All right, enough piling on. I did like ARIA and TOSCA, because I love Tosca, that's why. AMUR was saved by a bit of trivia I didn't know. 45A: It comes between ads (DEUCE) was clever and a nice turnaround from the crosswordese "ad in". HEINOUS reminded me of these guys:

Enough already. It was fine.

- Colum


  1. I thought this was a well-above-average Sunday. I loved the theme and all of the theme answers. I liked how they were varied in what was shortened or abbreviated (I could see that bugging Rex). Colum, thanks for cluing me in on LOOKOUTFORNOONE; I hadn't successfully parsed that out by the time I completed the grid. I actually enjoyed BITTERER; it defies expectations, but grammatically it's just fine. Two-syllable adjectives can be rendered comparative either by periphrasis or by inflection. Maybe I'll have to start using "bitterer"! I'm with you, however, on NTUPLE. Ugly fill! And I cry HEINOUS (I can't see your HEINOUS guys, by the way) foul on PARENS. Here's my reaction upon realizing that, TOOTRUE, it really was PARENS: Oh no you didn't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Surprisingly, I was not bothered by either AMTS or IQS. The latter is salvaged by a nice clue; the former seems apropos because the clue has two abbreviations, including the very commonly used "tsps." You and your opera. Geez! Seriously, though, I did kind of like the synergy of the two opera words. Here are the rest of my asterisks: Nice--for me, anyway--mis-direction of "Target for food." I was thinking along the lines of RDAs (Loook at that, a pluralized abbr.!) Way to go old school on "Like a profile picture." Didn't you think facebook at first? A couple really nifty clues for really ordinary words: "Tarzan's adopters" and "Herculean." Finally, I thought CATER was great for "Do the dishes." With the question mark I was thinking "dish the dirt." AMUR did offer some nice trivia. Here's some more: the AMUR is known as the Heilong Jiang in China, and it is the only habitat for the kaluga, the world's largest freshwater fish, which grow up to 18 feet in length! More trivia with AMARANTH. Who knew that symbolized immortality??
    P.S. I was mildly irked by LIS. I can't tell you how many times I have entered LIS, only to realize that the correct fill was "lys." I guess both are acceptable, but they ought to stick to one or the other in crosswords! OK, now I'm out.

  2. What's wrong with NTUPLE? But I, too, must thank Colum for explaining LOOKOUTFORNOONE. I have one thing to add: I thought that 101D Do the dishes? (CATER) was going to have a more Huygens-like answer. Wait...I also liked QUARKS and LOP/EARED but didn't like OOO (114D Game-winning row), and ALLISLOST could have been clued using the recent Redford movie instead of the lame "We're done for."