Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015, Joon Pahk


Stupid college! We read "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison in 20th C. American Lit., and so I put "ellison" in at 17A: "The Invisible Man" author (HGWELLS) without a second thought. Then I went on to finish the rest of the puzzle in about ten minutes, only to end up back in the NW, with nothing but "ellison" in it. The downs wouldn't come, and nothing made any sense. Finally, I said to Frannie "Aren't there two 'Invisible Man' books?" To which she replied, "You mean, besides the H. G. Wells one?" Stupid Frannie...

The G gave me REGENTS (2D: New York State's ____ Examinations), which wouldn't come to me with that L in there. What is that exam, anyway? And why is it in my head? (It's a high school exam.) Anyway, I finished it up after I finally figured out ELLS (6D: Duckbill's tail?) (tried "iLLS" at first, which would also have worked, I think), and REST (7D: Note's counterpart), which I only got just now as I wrote it down. They're talking about music!

I love ARBITER (1A: Ruling party?), now that I got it, but SEAMILE (15A: Mariner's measure) seems almost as arbitrary as INKLESS (13D: Empty, as a fountain pen). It's a nautical mile, and I pity the fool who says it ain't!

Kind of a fascinating theme today, with the "two consecutive letters in reverse order," and I like that it comes with a challenge. Isn't that how you interpret the disclaimer "for which we can't think of a single other common example?" C'mon... I'm pretty sure I won't be the only one thinking about the puzzle for the rest of the day. It's a clever ploy by Mr. Joon "I finished seventh overall at the ACPT" Pahk.

Finally, as I look this one over, I find a lot of unusual stuff to like. DECATUR, HATPINS, ALDENTE, ANNEXED... and to fit in all seven of the theme examples that they (Is Mr. Shortz included in that "we," do you think?) could think of, well, it's an impressive feat. No rebus, sure, but it's still pretty cool.

- Horace


  1. Well, Horace, if it makes you feel any better, Ellison was the first thing I put in the grid. His book-- quite a bit more famous than Wells's in my opinion-- doesn't have the "the." I had forgotten that. Just how impressive is this "theme," anyway? I mean, BABARACUS? CBRADIO?? Those are so obscure and lame. And couldn't you have a few more DC things? And I'm sure there are other colleges in the Texas system besides UTDALLAS. POBOXES; meh. The two names are cool, I admit. Rex listed a couple other possible themers, and I came up with one all on my own: MLCARR. Who doesn't remember his famous towel-waving during a Celtic championship run in the 80s?! I actually did enjoy the puzzle, though. Who was with me on putting in the answer to "Prince Eric's love" with absolutely no crosses?? My favorite Disney princess and musical! Agree on all of your last paragraph like. Also love seeing RAIMENT in the grid. Don't know if I'd swim a SEAMILE to solve this puzzle, but, yes, a very nice unusual Thursday.

  2. 9:42
    It's funny: I had put in ASH as my first entry, so HGWELLS slipped neatly off my metaphorical pen on to the metaphorical page (read finger and iPad). That being said, although REGENTS was easy for me (both daughters having taken at least one so far), I couldn't get the rest of the NW for quite a while. I worked my way down and finished the entire SW and across the middle before I realized that eMEt wasn't even acceptable at all as a term. ARBITER went in, and the NW fell.

    Nothing else gave me too much trouble. I think the theme is pretty good, but the challenge all depends on what you consider to be "common". BABARACAS was common I suppose, back in the 80s, but nobody's thought of him in years, and then it's always as Mr. T. ET59, I would include all the UTexas schools under one heading, of which UTDALLAS is just an example. I actually can't think of anything else in the District of Columbia which is called DC without a "the" before it. There is DC Comics, though.

    The editor of the NYT Motherlode blog is K.J. Dellantonia. W.V. feels like it should have something related to West Virginia, but nothing comes to mind that's commonly referred to that way. I like ML Carr, but outside of Boston or longtime NBA fans, who's going to remember him?

  3. 22:13
    I am, not surprisingly, unaware of ML Carr. I starred 19A First in line, in a way (ELDEST) because I'd originally entered "onDEck" there, which allowed two crosses and gave me HGWELLS, but both ARBITER and SEAMILE (which I don't like one bit) took a while to get. I loved 43D Appropriated (ANNEXED) and filled in BABARACUS pretty quickly. An enjoyable Thursday, having taken me the appropriate time to finish.