Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015, Jacob Stulberg


Oh, boy.

I get the idea of this puzzle. The theme is PGTHIRTEEN, and the letter pair of "pg" appears thirteen times in the grid, including in the rating. Which, by the way, is really PG-13, isn't it? As we learned in Patrick Berry's Sunday puzzle? But glossing over that little detail, the placement of so many PG's leads to some truly ugly fill.

Just look at the first corner. There are two abbreviations, one of which is really questionable (ANS), and three foreign names, not to mention a brand name (RAGU) just below. 1A: Leader with an -ism (MAO) is saved by the cute clue, but not above a C-. And it just goes on and on.

The next section has your random Roman numeral (CMII), along with two abbreviations (one of which, ASSN, is clued by a cross-reference to another abbreviation!), and yet another foreign name. I could blather about this for a long time. AAR? UTENN? REOIL?! LIC!!!??? And there's a bunch of old-time crosswordese as well. I had a feeling I'd find IRES in here.

I liked INTOODEEP right next to KEEPGOING. After all, once you've got that far, what else are you going to do?

And that's how I felt about this puzzle.

- Colum


  1. Yeah, this thing is God-awful. As you note the fill is terrible with so many abbreviations and so much crosswordese--I could easily list a dozen that you didn't mention-- but the theme stinks too, in my opinion. The PG clusters are remarkably unbecoming and muddled. Only three free-standing PGs! Not much to redeem this Piece of Garbage. SWAMPGAS is kind of a cool phrase, and CRAPGAMES makes me think of "The Lady Is a Tramp." There, I said something nice about the effort.

  2. 8:42

    Isn't the game "craps?" I don't like the singular in CRAPGAMES, but it reminds me of one of my favorite jokes: "I went to the zoo the other day, and all they had there was just one dog. It was a shih tzu."

    But seriously, folks... I did like the clue for PGA "Org. whose members may be putting on a show?" which took me a long time to pronounce correctly, and ASKEW is nice... but yeah, there's some junk.

  3. 7:09
    Al HIRT makes another appearance. Yes, it's "craps;" the game in casinos at which the gambler purportedly has the best odds. From the date given in the clue, I was able to enter the pair ANWAR/SADAT immediately. WASHRAG doesn't seem quite right, somehow; I wanted something to do with dusting. CAPGUN brought back memories of fun times. Not the greatest Tuesday.