Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015, Timothy Polin

0:12:18 (FWME)

Another sloppy puzzle for me. I hemmed and hawed over OVIPARA (10D: Egg-laying animals), but eventually put it in because STRAP (21A: Flogging implement) seemed to be right. I would have preferred "wet noodle" there, but one can't have everything. Anyway, when I didn't get the "Congratulations!" screen and the music I ran the alphabet on that P, to no avail. I then spent a few more minutes going through every answer. I quickly found that I had left in "wHir" where CHOP (14A: Use a Veg-o-Matic) belonged. Totally wrong, "whir," but sometimes when solving electronically you enter something in a panic and then it comes back to haunt you. It is an argument for solving on paper, perhaps, or for just taking your damn time and solving a puzzle the way you're supposed to. Either way, that was one (or three) of my errors. The other was that I spelled KRAKEN (25A: Sea monster of Norse myth) with a C, which made ROARK (9D: "The Fountainhead" hero Howard) wrong, too, but since both still sounded right, I didn't notice it for quite some time.

Anywho, you don't want to hear me prattle on about my mistakes, do you? No! You want insightful criticism! You want witty banter and obscure references! You want erudite appraisal! You want assigned value! You want a simple "Thumbs up" or "Thumbs down!" You want product! You want it all! ... what do I know what you want? What does anyone want? All I know is that you probably will come away disappointed if you actually "want" anything. From this blog or from life. There. You're welcome.


The theme today is quite pretty, actually, especially if you picture each of the falls. (I've started you off above.) It's a little weird to have two fifteens that are unrelated to the theme, but CALIFORNIAGIRLS (17A: Per the Beach Boys, they're the cutest in the world) are always welcome. FOURSTARADMIRAL (59A: Chester Nimitz or William Halsey) was a little surprising, since "four star general" also fits, but I got there eventually. A few unfortunate and/or tough R-answers appeared - RIATA, REZA, RAJIV - but overall, the grid is relatively clean.

Some fun cluing for VAIN (16A: Fond of self-reflection), VICTIM (49A: Mr. Boddy, in the game Clue), and THEIRS (39D: His and hers), and it took me quite a while to understand that "sewer" was supposed to be pronounced "sow-er" in 39A: Sewer's protection (THIMBLE). I kept wondering how "manhole cover" was going to fit in there. Derp.

Some tough names, some crosswordese, but overall, a decent Wednesday.

- Horace


  1. 5:01 (FWOE)
    Well, I think you delivered exactly what I wanted.

    My error was: TeAMO for TIAMO. That's the price for not checking your crosses. THIMBLE was excellent: I too fell into the mispronunciation trap.

    I want to go to Victoria Falls. That looks amazing.

  2. Wednesdays have the advantage of low expectations, don't they? This, I would say, lived up to--maybe even exceeded-- such expectations. The falls thing was cute; plus, I learned something. I previously knew nothing about any falls on the Rhine, never mind that they are supposedly the largest falls in Europe. A lot of nice longer fill today: ARROYOS, EPITOME, ASTORIA, ENIGMA, the Horace-cited THIMBLE . . . The fact that I actually knew JUDAH Friedlander helped me fly through the western half of this thing (I remembered ACCRA too!). A little slower going over on the other side. Writing in -geneRAL at first didn't help--of course I knew that Nimitz was a naval guy! I think I looked at the clue early on, then finished the rest of the extreme SW, and when I saw that I had FOURST- I just reflexively wrote in the more familiar rank phrase. Oh well. What's four write-over squares on a Wednesday. Good thing I'm old enough to know the Shah because UTZ chips and pretzels are nothing to me. We don't have them out here, at least not in the regular groceries. I agree with you, Horace, about the two fifteens. Very strange indeed. Nice little puzzle today. I'm not INAWE, or anything, but I'll take it. All I want out of life is joy; and I got a few small slices by finishing this with no errors, by googling a few pictures of beautiful falls in Switzerland and California, and by recalling a couple wonderful stops at Niagara with my son and daughter.

    1. Chen didn't know UTZ either, but they're plenty big out here. Their pretzels are great!

  3. 14:17
    UTZ went right in for me, as did FOURSTARADMIRAL since I'm a former military guy. Odd that today's time was far less for me than yesterday's. I enjoyed the theme (everyone loves circles in a grid!), and got the immediate "Congratulations" on entering the final letter, which I think was the "P" in STRAP/OVIPARA, the latter being a word that I don't remember ever hearing or reading. I never heard of a few other words in the grid, either - RAJIV, REZA, or ACCRA - but the crosses were fair. Loved MACHINE (45D Cyborg, in part) due to its timeliness regarding the latest "Terminator" release, which I'm looking quite forward to watching, despite its poor reviews.