Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015, Zhouqin Burnikel


An unusual symmetry graces today's grid: the left to right invertibility places the revealer at the bottom center. Which is rawther amusing, considering that the revealer is CROWN. I did not see the connection between the four theme answers (I didn't even realize that ROLEX was a theme answer until the reveal came up). All of the theme answers are fine entries. Does 49A: Lana Del ____, singer with the 2014 #1 album "Ultraviolence" (REY) count as a bonus theme answer? It's placed just right for it.

The strange layout of the grid allows for two pairs of 10-letter down answers in each southern corner. USMARSHALS is great, as is LEOTOLSTOY. I love the full name. ANDROIDONE is acceptable, although I didn't know what the last three letters were until I filled in the crosses.

THATISALIE is fine, if a little formal, but in keeping with the emphatic nature of the clue. It also joins two other colloquialisms, IDOTOO and YKNOW. I like the last one a whole bunch.

1A: Hiking trail reference (MAP) is okay. I don't love starting a puzzle with a 3-letter answer. There's not much purchase to be made from such a short entry. I'll give this one a C-, especially since it anchors two place names.

Nothing much to note on the cluing, as befits a Monday. 24D: Encrypt? (INTER) is cute. I also liked 62A: Frequent Arctic forecast (SNOW).

Pretty good Monday.

- Colum

P.S. I realize the connection between the puzzle and the picture will be obscure to all but my daughter. See, that's her favorite band, 5 Seconds Of Summer, performing for Good Morning America (GMA). She is somewhere to the left.

1 comment:

  1. 10:21
    I've had some problems printing puzzles out, but I've corrected that now, so I can comment (although I'm still working on Saturday's (105:47 so far!). I starred 48A Donkeys (ASSES) for obvious reasons and 32D Thieves (STEALS) because it was nicely misdirecting. I was going to say that this skewed a bit hard for a Monday, but after seeing Colum's time I won't. My least favorite theme answer is HALLMARKCARDS; is that the name of the company? I thought it was just "Hallmark" (and I won't look it up).