Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015, Bill Thompson

0:15:33 (FWOE)

Man, this took me forever for a Tuesday. Lots of stuff that I just was not expecting. And the trouble began right at 1A: Complain loudly (YAWP). It's not a word I think of very often. And it didn't help that YOGA (1D: Exercise discipline) took almost just as long. JOSE (27A: Tenor Carreras) was an unknown (I actually considered "Josh" at one point), and ZONKS (40A: Crashes, with "out") was not on the tip of my tongue.

Lots of tough names today, too. I've heard of JAYZ (27D: Rapper born Shawn Corey Carter), of course, but I didn't know his given name, nor had I ever heard the name ADELEASTAIRE (48A: *Half of a brother/sister dance duo). SEALE (13D: Bobby who co-founded the Black Panther Party) is not entirely unfamiliar, but I needed every cross to be sure of it. Two eponyms in the grid, with WANG (3D: First computer company to run an ad during the Super Bowl) (fascinating!), and APGAR (20A: Kind of test for newborns). That second one is rather interesting, because it is associated with not one, but TWO "backonyms," both centered around that test: "Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration" and "American Pediatric Gross Assessment Record." Another mnemonic for the test is "How Ready Is This Child?" (Heart rate, Respiratory effort, Irritability, Tone, Color." You'd think with all that work making sure people remembered it, that it would have been easier for me to get! Well, hopefully with all this writing about it, it will be easier for me the next time I see it. Which, if the recent past is any indicator, will be tomorrow. Heh. Add to all of that four characters from fiction, two I knew and two I didn't, and a "49D: Miami golf resort" (DORAL), and you've got the makings of a pretty tough Tuesday.

I didn't mind the challenge, though, and I enjoyed, as I often do, the long downs. SKILLSET (38D: Everything one can do) (nicely clued!) and SUGARPEA (10D: Legume with an edible pod). PAT (44A: Word that, spelled backward, can be a clue for itself) was cutely clued.

My error was at CTA (Inits. for Windy City commuters) and PACMAN (46D: Game with a "perfect score" of 3,333,360) (who knew?). I recognized my error when I saw PArMAN, but I guessed at the Windy City transport initials. I've spent not a little time in Chicago. It was many years ago, though, and all that stuck from the subway was "el," I guess.

I guess I'll say I liked it. The theme answers were not perfect, but I appreciate the early-week challenge of the overall.

- Horace


  1. 6:29 (FWOE)
    Definitely tough for a Tuesday. YAWP is inelegant, but I knew APGAR off the bat, so that helped a good deal. I wanted SAYEth for SAYEST. The theme was good IMO, and I like that the word "east" is in the exact middle of each word. DORAL was an unknown to me. My error came at ESTADOS/AMORE. I put in ESTADaS and didn't see the cross until after the sign came up that I had an error. It was certainly an okay puzzle.

  2. This took me much longer than usual, as well. No errors, though. As a fairly avid golf fan, DORAL was quite easy after I got the D from ADELEASTAIRE. The Blue Monster, baby! A couple I disliked were ILOST for "Competitor's lament" and ISEE for "Mm-hmm." Neither one rings at all true to me. I don't generally love those common phrases, although a notable exception today was ITSME. "Informal identification is great cluing for that. I too put in SAYEth at first. Theme is solid--wouldn't EAST have to be in the exact middle for this to work at all? I join Horace and Colum with a mild thumbs up.

  3. 17:52
    Longer than usual, no errors. YAWP always brings to mind Walt Whitman for me, but it came slowly. JOSE Carreras is one of the famous "Three Tenors" from a couple of decades ago, so that was easy for me, and I also knew ADELEASTAIRE, but was initially ready to enter Marie Osmond in there, even though it wouldn't fit properly. Lots of tricky stuff in here, but a great puzzle for a Tuesday. I enjoyed the challenge. Worst word? YEASTY.