Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015, Evan Birnholz


Frannie and I passed this one back and forth on the porch, so we don't have a "time," but we were able to work pretty much "cleanly" from NW to SE, only getting caught up in the middle bottom area. Neither of us "knew" the term SCAREQUOTES (50A: Marks of derision), but we were both "happy" to learn it.

Still, we guessed correctly (what else could it have been?) so we avoided the Saturday FWOE. Phew!

Not as "open" a grid as one sometimes sees on a Saturday, with lots of medium-length fill. I didn't particularly love the NW, with its EARFLAP (3D: Feature of a bomber hat) and XBOXONE (2D: Microsoft release of 2013), but I wouldn't go so far as to say it ANNOYED (1D: Got to) me. OXFORDCOMMA (20A: Much-debated grammar subject) (I'm for them) was nice coming out of that stack, and through that runs the always welcome BRUCELEE (6D: He died while filming "Game of Death"). 

In the SW we have the equally always welcome SEXAPPEAL (42A: It) (Nice clue!), and to have it share a letter with STEAMY (42D: Blue, say) is just icing on the cake. WEIRDAL (36D: Big producer of novelty records, informally) and AXLROSE (37D: "Sweet Child O' Mine" rocker) make stranger "bedfellows" in that quadrant. 

TERMLIMIT (8D: Restriction for some offices), EXOTICA (39D: Things rarely seen), FOLKHERO (26D: Romanticized figure), and HATCHECK (38A: Where a bowler might go on a date) were all quite nice. TINCT (30D: Color) is a bit of a stretch, and CAMERON (40D: Brown's follower) and KNESSET (41D: Mideast diet) were tricky! 

Overall, a decent Saturday.

- Horace


  1. 21:51
    How many times will I be fooled by that use of the word "diet?" I will give Cece major props for getting OXFORDCOMMA without any crosses at all. How do you like them "apples"? I had Yahweh for ADONAI, but that would have been inappropriate. I also had OKlahoma for OKCORRAL. That's actually in Arizona. I love the clue at 38D: Do stuff (HAIRGEL). That's fun. Unfortunate to have two answers relying on individual letters like IBAR and YLEVEL.

    Overall, I thought this was a high quality Saturday.

  2. 25:08
    I'm shocked that my time is close to Colum's. I told Sue that since I finished it in the time above, Colum would probably come in at around nine minutes. EROICA was nicely clued (as were the answers already mentioned by Horace). TABSET was surprising since it isn't used too much any more, is it? Regardless, I filled it in with only a couple of crosses. Unusual that I finished the Saturday puzzle in under half the time that the Friday offering took me. I loved all of the Xs and am also for the OXFORDCOMMA, although I don't use it any longer.