Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, Joel Fagliano and Finn Vigeland


Ahhh. Who doesn't like a good trip to the mall? With all the recycled air, food courts, and stores you want to have nothing to do with? I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Today we have four theme answers which happen to have store names in them, and they're clued in a mall-ish way. I like 26A: "The food court offers much more than just your typical..." SUBWAYFARE. And it makes a nice partner with MINDTHEGAP, which is used in train or subway stations. It's cute and harmless fun.

I'm not convinced that 20A: "Welcome to the mall! Make sure you don't..." MISSTHETARGET actually works. As opposed to The Gap, Target comes without a definite article. I think someone might actually use a definite article in this setting, but more along the lines of: "If we go to the mall, we can hit the Target store there, as opposed to the one on Washington Avenue." Maybe I'm nitpicking.

I like the two proper names in the long answers at 3D (NORMABATES) and 30D (FITZGERALD). I hope no young'uns are doing the puzzle today who actually haven't seen or heard of Psycho, only to have that plot twist ruined for them.

There's not a lot of fireworks in the cluing. 56D: John or Paul, but not Ringo (POPE) is cute. We hit some up-to-date bits with SPY (very funny) and UBER, and, perhaps, AKON (Senegalese rapper, who is 3 years younger than me, and probably a good deal wealthier). 1A: Fancy wheels, familiarly (BENZ) is, once again, a very middle-of-the-road bit of crosswording. B-.

I am not happy with ECIG, or anything E-, for that matter. TOWCAR is just not a thing, as far as I know. It's a tow truck. But, in the end, you have to admire the chutzpah (appropriate given the Jewish holiday season) in the baldness of putting ETA, THETA, and BETA in the puzzle, and cluing them by cross-reference.

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. 15:08
    I held off entering TOWCAR for as long as humanly possible, but alas.... Other than that, this was a fine Wednesday. APPLETURNOVER, although I own no i-products, was my favorite, since I enjoy the named pastries, though not often (once every three or four years, maybe). ETSY is current. I liked BENZ being near MACH, even though the cars are probably more well-known for their luxury. BETA is above PARTTWO, perhaps unintentionally. I entered EdIE instead of EVIE at first (is that a name, or a nickname?). SCRAP is a great answer for 9D Quarrel, and 22D A lot of rich people? (ESTATE), which is excellent, probably didn't need the question mark. I also thought it was interesting to bring together 19A and 45A (Home to Incan 19-Across) CUZCO. Wouldn't young-uns know NORMABATES from the current series "Bates Motel" (I think that's the name)? Well, even though I knew the BATES bit, and had seen "Psycho" several times, I needed three crosses to get the NORMA part, so maybe they wouldn't, and maybe she's not a corpse in the series. Finally, SNOOPS right above SPY is a nice touch.