Sunday, August 23, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015, Lynn Lempel


When I finally figured out this theme it made me laugh out loud. It's just so silly! ITSUPTOYOU, or, "its up to u," appears in every theme answer. The answers they appear in are perfectly cromulent, so as far as theme goes, this is a definite thumbs up.

But as we all know, that's only half the battle. What about the rest of the fill? Well, today it's pretty damn good. For one thing, it starts with AMES (1A: Home to Iowa State), which is near and dear to my heart. It's also got such interesting things as SKINDIVING (18A: Activity with a mask and flippers), ROMANESQUE (57A: Architectural style of medieval Europe), ADAGIOS (53A: Slow compositions), CHIDE (9A: Reprimand), and SCOTCH (50A: Chivas Regal product). What more does one need on a Monday? Not much, really, but I also like the vernacular of THEDOLE (56A: Government assistance), the surprise of JUICE (27A: Apple product) (Nice hidden non-capital!), and who doesn't enjoy the phrase "45A: Whole ____ and caboodle" (KIT), or the word "46A: Rapscallion" (IMP)? Nobody doesn't, that's who.

OK, one more that I liked - 35D: Nickname that's an alphabet trio (STU). Clever! I'm going to say this was a downright ELEGANT Monday offering. Here's hoping the rest of the week is just as good!

- Horace


  1. 8:38
    I was going to say "hidden non-capital!" In fact, that was the sole starred clue on today's grid. I'm somewhat surprised that Horace enjoyed a puzzle with circles in it. By the time I filled in the revealer, I'd already filled in all of the USTIs, so it didnt' do me any good. I agree that this is a top-notch Monday. Mmmmm....SCOTCH.

  2. 5:23
    I think it's a pretty darn good Monday also. I love the revealer. I'd also filled in USTI in all of the circles, wondering what the hell that was all about. So, why the circles? I think the solvers would figure it out as they went through without the assistance. Of course it's nice to have the theme answers go down, which makes the long acrosses our non-theme sparklers. ROMANESQUE is excellent. Weird that the puzzle misses being a pangram by a B, of all letters.

  3. Yes, this is definitely a good one. I almost always have all the theme answers filled in before I see the revealer, working as I generally do from NW to SE. This was no exception, but like Horace I got quite a chuckle when I filled in ITSUPTOYOU. This is, as noted, a very clean puzzle. The only junk that comes immediately to mind is ENGR. There's really not even very much crosswordese. ARAL, ENYA, NASA?, AMASS? You guys have already noted all of the great fill. I'll just add that if a puzzle is going to have to have ISIT, bringing back the old Lipton Soup add is a great way to clue it.