Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday, September 6, 2015, Patrick Berry


What a treat, to have Mr. Berry composing Sunday puzzles. This grid abounds with clever clues and fun words. Funnily enough, one of my least favorite of them came at 1A: One raised in church? (ALTAR). It's fine, and I get that the altar is at a higher level than the congregation, it just didn't catch my funny bone, so I give it a B.

The theme became apparent very early on. I actually broke in at 6A with AWL, and then recalled "Inside LLEWYN Davies", so [12]ANGRYMEN was not hard to figure out, and then I knew the trick behind the theme. However, that didn't make it any easier, because it's not a fixed rebus, and the rebus spots are not symmetrically placed, which made for a fun challenge.

I'm not all that familiar with ADAM[21] or CAR[54], although I've heard of both of them. 12D: Pop group? (TOP[40]) is a nice clue. But my favorite theme clue and answer came right in the middle at 70A: Game that people rarely agree to play twice ([52]PICKUP). Ha! Also nice that the crossing answer is THEB[52]S, an old favorite group of mine.

None of the other theme answers had as much pizzazz as those. [30]ROCK is an awesome show. [54][40]ORFIGHT took a long time for me to be sure was correct.

A few of my favorite clues and answers:

  • 13A: Hand-made percussion (CLAPS) - not was I was expecting.
  • 17D: Square figures (STATUES) - so true and succinct.
  • 39A: Changes to the bills? (NOSEJOBS) - a laugh out loud when I figured it out.
  • 69A: Italian religious figure (CRISTO) - literally! I was thinking cardinals, popes, etc.
  • 89A: Growing businesses (FARMS) - like 17D, a precise and funny clue, without question marks.
  • 9D: Adams, Monroe or Grant (ACTRESS) - meaning Amy, Marilyn, and... um, Lee? Not sure about the last one, but I'm bemoaning the lack of the Oxford comma in the clue.
  • 58D: Maker of candy wafers (NECCO) - shout out to the New England Candy Company! Making MIT smell sweet for decades!

Didn't love RETEAM, REGNAL, AVIANCA (yet another local airline), or constant crosswordese EWER. Overall, though, a fine Sunday.

- Colum

P.S. My wife pointed out that I didn't give proper credit for the fact that she was the one who got HOPONPOP and BAPTISTERY in yesterday's puzzle. So I'm setting the record straight.


  1. 35:52
    I agree that this was a nice, clean and fun puzzle (no Oxford comma there, either). Of course, it's ADAM[12], not 21, a show that I did, on occasion, watch. At first I had nc[17] at 93D Rating first used for "Red Dawn," but quickly changed it to the correct PG[13] giving me [13]GOINGON[30]; I love the two double number answers. I wanted something presidential instead of ACTRESS at 9D, but at least it led to the nice photo Colum posted of Ms. Adams; there's something about her, isn't there? I don't see a rating for 123D Word often shortened to its middle letter in texts (ARE).

    1. I decided to give up on the last word. It wasn't the word I was interested in, namely the last word in the SE corner, which is often somewhere near the end of the downs. It made for a mixed metaphor, so I'm leaving it out for the rest of the month.