Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015, Andrew Zhou


A decent Saturday. I thought of NIQAB (1A: Cover for a Muslim woman's face) right away, but for some reason didn't pull the trigger, but did go ahead and enter INURE (14A: Toughen) without any support. I got a little nervous when I got down to 44A: Toughens (STEELS), but everything worked out fine with that, luckily.

I really dislike BLEARS (21A: Dims), and I'm a little tired of AIRACES (35A: Some Medal of Honor recipients). LACAN (31D: Jacques ____, French psychoanalyst who studied hysteria) and DORA (15A: Pseudonym of Freud's famed hysteria patient) made an odd, but appropriately Saturday-level pairing. And speaking of sets, I preferred the duo of CHESS (27D: "As elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you could find anywhere outside an advertising agency," per Raymond Chandler)(nice) and ROOK (52A: Starter on square a1, h1, a8 or h8).

There's some good stuff, too. It's the best clue for ENYA (54A: Singer who has recorded in Tolkien's Elvish language) that I've ever seen, and I liked the good clues on the "family-ish" set of BEDTIMESTORY (21D: A tot often goes out in the middle of it) and NIECES (1D: Two of Ferdinand VII's wives, to Ferdinand VII), and AGEONE (35D: When preliminary steps are taken?).

Other bright spots include AGHAST (39D: Shocked), VIRILITY (33D: Manliness), EVOKE (17A: Stir up), and EOCENE (26A: Epoch when horses first appeared). Maybe that's when eohippus existed? A "new dawn" of a "new horse?" Probably.

Anyhoo, as I said, a decent Saturday. Some things, like, ADULTSITES seemed a tad arbitrary, but  there were plenty of good things, too.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. 50:27
    I didn't think NIQAB right away, but the crosses were reasonable, so it's OK. The middle longer answers (11s) were all nice, with KICKMESIGNS being the best of the bunch. ALLHAIL is clued nicely, and the cross of VIRILITY and GRINDS is quite racy. BLEARS, as Horace points out, is bad, but I thought that ADULTSITES was just fine. This is what a Saturday puzzle should be.