Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015, David J. Kahn


Today a tribute to "Saturday Night Live,"which, incidentally, we watched last night! I like that the theme answers are symmetrical, that there are Down answers included, and that the circled names are all drawn from the more well-known cast members, and not the also-rans, and that they span from first season to last season. I also like that STEVEMARTIN and ALECBALDWIN were worked in as full names. It's really quite elegant. So I guess I can say that I like the theme pretty well. Plus, I've been watching and enjoying the show almost from the very beginning, so that doesn't hurt.

The words and phrases that the cast members are "hidden" in are, for the most part, okay. Everybody loves CARROTCAKE (71A: Dessert often topped with cream cheese (1990-1993)), for example, and the EASTERPARADE (81A: Berlin standard (1990-1996)) is not only a New York tradition, but its clue referencing the composer/lyricist is pretty tricky! WINING (108D: Dining partner? (2005-2012)) is less good, but not terrible. 

This played easier than Sundays have for me recently. I'm pretty sure we could have knocked it off in about fifteen minutes if we hadn't been sipping coffee and passing it back and forth. As it was, it took just about twice that, but on a Sunday, who ever pays attention to such things? The 1A today PASS (Get by) is given a passing grade of C+. It's fine. 

Frannie plopped in LEMMA (57D: Subsidiary proposition) without dilemma, and I thought my brother the chemist would be proud that I put in METHANE (110A: CH4) on my first pass through the Across clues. Speaking of people being happy about stuff, Huygens will probably be happy that I also put in CORNELL (47A: Northeastern university where Carl Sagan taught) without crosses, as I'm sure he will, too. 

There's a little gluey material, like MYA (who?), MMMREPARK, and DARC, but we also get GIOTTO (39D: Designer of the Florence Cathedral bell tower), LIEF (22A: Gladly, old-style) (Frannie and I are learning Dutch, and they still use this word), and speaking of the Netherlands, we also enjoyed seeing HAGUE (20A: Headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell, with "The"). 

Overall, I'd say this was a better-than-average Sunday.

- Horace


  1. 54:23
    I pay attention to the times on Sundays because I like it to come in at around one hour. I finished this in 39:12 save for the NW, which took forever for some reason. Loved CORNELL (and as Horace mentions, it went in without crosses), but ALOP? Did I get something wrong at 5D? I also starred LEMMA, for obvious reasons. Back to the NW, I should have gotten STEVEMARTIN much faster, and I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out a three-letter last name for an SNL cast member (FEY!). Anyway, nice Sunday.

  2. Oh, I also like that LIVEFROMNEWYORK and ITSSATURDAYNIGHT both went into the grid.