Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015, Kurt Krauss


Things didn't start out well aesthetically today. 1A: Surrender (CEDE) went in without a second thought, unless you count the thought: "Oh, it's going to be one of those puzzles." Not an auspicious beginning, and I give it a C-. And indeed, shortly thereafter, I had entered ANON, ENNE (feminine suffices should be eliminated from the language entirely), HIRER, ERIN, and IFI, and I was not out of the NW.

If there was a silver lining to the increasingly dark cloud, it was 1D: One checking you out (CASHIER). I love that clue, and the word is very nice as well. Too bad it's accompanied by ENTITLE and DOORONE (I doubt they ever called it that on "Let's Make a Deal" - it should be "door number one").

Fortunately, we moved out of the NW. There were an extraordinary amount of words ending in -O: LOGO, ARNO (have I mentioned recently that I visited Firenze last year?), ESPO, ITO, ELNINO, VIDEO, NUEVO. TOO? SOO? And what are the Soo Canals? Apparently, they are artificial waterways connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron, although Soo Locks Googles much better. Perhaps this should not have been a Tuesday clue.

The three corners not in the NW had much better sets of words. 45D: Written introduction? (NAMETAG) is cute. And we all like ASARULE, as a rule.

Oh, yes, the theme. All the long answers have a first word that goes well with "age"... "age"s well? Hmmm. Anyway, the best of these are STONEHENGE because Spinal Tap, and SPACENEEDLE, because "Space Age" is such an unexpected addition to the geological/prehistorical other ages. I would have liked the theme better if the clue for the revealer (69A: A very long time... or a hint to the starts of the answers to the five starred clues) didn't echo 39D: A very long time (EON). I feel that the revealer should be unique in the puzzle.

A lot of dross: AMS, PMS (right above each other, which lessens the blow), SRS, OSS, ENG, BVD, NENE, just to name a few. On the other hand I enjoyed the set of COLORIN, URGEON, and KEPTOUT. Probably a thumbs down on the whole, but just a little.

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. 12:09
    I wrote in SOO with the crosses, but didn't like it. I guess when Sue and I make a proper tour of the Great Lakes, we'll have to book a tour through the aforementioned locks. I starred 30A ____ Joe's (supermarket chain) (TRADER) as something that would probably irritate Horace, and 51D Hawaiian goose (NENE) which we haven't seen in a puzzle for a little while, I don't think. Though we saw many road signs while driving around on the islands warning us to be wary of street crossings by the creatures, especially on the Big Island, we never once spotted a NENE. I'd never heard of the MESABI range, either, though I suspect that the family of Horace probably have. ET59 would be surprised to know that I entered ESPO (22A Boston Bruins legend, to his teammates) with no crosses; I noted to myself that it wasn't three letters, so that only left one possibility. A good enough puzzle, but I agree with Colum that there was quite a bit of junk in there.