Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015, Andrea Carla Michaels


An amusing theme today - three fifteen-letter answers, the beginnings of which spell out "HAR, HAR, HAR," or, LAUGHINGOUTLOUD (65A: Bit of textspeak, unsharpened ... or a hint to the starts of ...). It's not every Monday that we see four answers that span the whole grid, so that's nice. On the down side, two of the three theme answers are quite old fashioned. "The Hardy Boys" and "Harper Valley PTA?" You've practically got to be a HARVARDGRADUATE to get those ancient references!

As for the rest of it, there's plenty of dusty supporting material. ALF (25A: Furry TV extraterrestrial) (off the air before XCI), ALI (35A: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" boxer) (last fight, 1981), OZAWA (16A: Seiji ____, former Boston Symphony director) (retired 2002). OK, so maybe they're all classics. So is Deborah KERR and KUBLA Khan, but it doesn't make them any less "fresh." Add to those staid answers Latin like ETTU and QUA, and standbys like ETNA, SERE, ALEE, SWEE, ELAN, EZRA, AFRO, and URSA, and you've got an uphill battle on your hands.

Everything just seemed a little flat. Maybe it's me. I've had a pretty rotten day.

- Horace


  1. HARPERVALLEYPTA should never get to be a theme answer. Crappy song, crappy movie and even crappier--and ridiculously short-lived-- TV show. I agree about this being a little flat. In fact, it's a lot flat; absolutely nothing pops. I like PASTURE, but that's about it. Mostly, though, I am outraged that in a "hardy, har, har" theme there is nary a "Lippy" nor a "lion" to be found. It can only be onward and upward from here. I am very sorry to hear about your rotten day.

  2. 5:04
    Couldn't agree more. HARPERVALLEYPTA? And to have the middle W section also be studded with SHERRI and IRV made this puzzle slower than typical for a Monday.

  3. 6:59
    Barbara Eden...'nuff said. No stars on today's puzzle clues. Sue and I were just near OZAWA Hall on Sunday, walking the grounds of Tanglewood prior to The Ninth Symphony (and Copeland's "Symphonic Ode"). I enjoy the sailor-themed TAR cluing to today's 53A Driveway topper, but that's Monday for you. I read a good deal of the HARDYBOYSSERIES as a lad and was a fan of the show...Shawn Cassidy is DREAMY! (LAUGHINGOUTLOUD). I never knew of ROSIE being called the "Queen of Nice." (Is the reference to ROSIE O'Donnell?) And should that proper name be right below ALI and above SHERRI? I don't know...OK puzzle I guess.

  4. OK, I suppose anything with Barbara Eden in it is worth watching. But it's still a crappy show.