Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday, October 9, 2015, David Steinberg

DNF

Well, we did finish, but not without errors. We tried EtH for EDH (24A: Old English letter) and dAR for SAR (35A: Patriotic org. founded in 1889). Stupid mistake on our part, as the D.A.R. was founded in 1890. Duh!

Crossing those mistakes were NOBID (14D: Like some shady contracts, from an auditor's standpoint) - a tortured reference to the sphere of professional bridge playing, I'm guessing - and OSAMA (29D: Former cave dweller, informally) - which I find to be distastefully clued. And speaking of clues that left a bad taste - 43A: Spray source (UZI) was another one. Spray? Really? Gross.


I guess the clueing throughout put us off of this one. 60A: Risk territory west of Siberia (URAL) seems unnecessarily obscure. For 44D: Sharp knocks (ZINGS), "dings," "pings," or even "bings," could have worked and might even have been better. And if you're going to put both IDYLL and ODE in a puzzle, why cross reference only one of them to POEM?

I suppose I should just LETGO and enjoy the several nice long Down answers. TRATTORIA (31D: Mediterranean bistro) will no doubt remind Colum of his recent stay in Italy, and ARGYLES (4D: Holders of diamonds?), despite its questionable clue, is a nice word. BITCOIN (40D: Modern transaction unit) is good and current, though I wonder just how many transactions are transacted using them.

On the bright clue side, I liked 33D: Starbuck's order giver (AHAB). Overall, though, neither of us particularly enjoyed this one.

- Horace


5 comments:

  1. Color me DNF also. I too had errors where you had them. I thought OdAMA was wrong, but I also find OSAMA to be in very poor taste. I had dINGS instead of ZINGS. NOBID is a reference to contracts that are given out to companies without any competition, thus making them shady. Not bridge, I don't believe.

    And I was all set to like this puzzle, given PLAYBOYMANSION and TOPLESSDANCERS. Those are some marquee answers. The rest of the puzzle did not live up to it.

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  2. Forgot about the 1A rating again. RATA, as clued, gets a D. Probably should be a D-, but I'm feeling generous.

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  3. I think "sharp knocks" is meant as "clever put-downs or criticisms."

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps so. I guess I should cut him some slack.

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  4. 24:18 (DNF)
    For the same reasons as Horace and Colum: OdAMA, pINGS and SATSaMA, dAR; I just made some bad guesses and didn't understand the OSAMA clue properly. Other than that, this went fast. PLAYBOYMANSION deserved a star from me and 61A "Big _____" (comic strip) (NATE) is one of my current favorites about which I have frequent discussions with Horace's father, the most recent being this very morning. I thought it a fine Friday because of stuff like BUSIER (9D Comparatively ornamented), the full ORANGEADE, TOPLESSDANCERS, AIRHOCKEY, ONIONROLL...good fill.

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