Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015, Peter Wentz


I'm sure glad they got their "Halloweeny" puzzles out of the way earlier in the week, because that left today for this lovely themeless. Thick, open corners, a wide-channelled middle section, plenty of interesting fill, and very little junk. Let's get right to some of the good stuff.

Got started in a big way with FLAPJACKS (6A: Diner stack) which seemed almost a gimme on a Saturday morning. From that, FESSEDUP (6D: Came clean), LAWOMAN (7D: Classic 1971 album that closes with "Riders on the Storm"), PYREX (9D: Test tube material), JAM (10D: Get stuck), ASITWERE (11D: In a manner of speaking), and CANONS (12D: Some printers) were also immediately entered, and I thought for a minute or so that I would be approaching Amy Reynaldo-type solving times. Unfortunately for me, I thought that KidsrS (13D: Former chain store for kids) (KBTOYS) was also a gimme, and that held me up until the very end. What's odd about that is that I actually used to shop at KB Toy & Hobby when I was very young, and I've never been inside a KidsRUs. ...

Loved OBEISANCE (54: Deferential respect). This word immediately brings to mind "The Raven," and is therefore quite appropriate for Halloween, no?

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, 
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore; 
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; 
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door— 
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door— 
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Below that, LOSTATSEA (56A: Like the explorer Henry Hudson) is a great clue/answer pair, and RAGEQUIT (32D: Suddenly and angrily stop playing a game, in modern lingo) always gets a chuckle. In that same quadrant, I was very happy that I could conjure up HARIBO (41D: Candy company that makes gummy bears) (I could see it in my mind's eye with its colored letters on the packaging... is that bad?) which led me to immediately take out "pimpS" at 40A: Gangsta rap characters (THUGS). I'm glad my guess was wrong. And speaking of being glad, I hope Frannie is happy to hear that it took me quite a while to move from games to relationships when considering 38D: Possible consequence of cheating (DIVORCE). :)

So this is getting long, but I liked this puzzle, and hey, it's my last review for a while! Colum takes over tomorrow. And speaking of Colum, I've kind of abandoned his "1A Assessments," but today's BERET (1A: Soft top) is one of the best of the month, so I'll give it an A. Pourquoi pas?

Finally, I took 31 Across to be a hidden political message. Bravo, Mr. Wentz, bravo.

- Horace


  1. 14:31 (FWOE)
    I had ELCAsINO and EsTS (estimates?!).

    My first entry was TEEN at 5D, and HADIN at 19A, but the rest was opaque in that corner. NOTRUMP was a gimme - would have been a funny commentary for sure: "Liberal's a propos bid in 2016" or some such. I got FESSEDUP before FLAPJACKS, and then died in that corner when I put in EASYASpie. I had to work my way all the way through the SW and SE and then back up before I took it out.

    I very much enjoyed this Saturday. Looking forward to tomorrow!

  2. I had EASYASpie at first, too, and FLAPJACKS took me quite awhile for some reason, but the puzzle took under 40 minutes for me to finish, which is good for me for a Saturday. My only other write-over was the EUROZONE/OLSON cross, where I'd filled in OLSeN prior to filling in EUROZONE. SWARMINTO wasn't great, and I'd never heard the term RAGEQUIT (although I like it), so that corner was the final one to fall for me. I thought that 28A Progressive business: Abbr. (INS) was a nice hidden capital.