Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015, Bill Zais


OYS! A scary puzzle for Halloween. TID, SWE, TOA, OHO, CMD, REN, HIN, THD, RMSLIQ, LEVTVPG ... it RANKLEs. Even the stuff that I might ordinarily like, like 100D: Like some Roman aphorisms (SENECAN) (Like how I got three likes in a row there?) is ruined by the adjectivizing.

The theme is a sort of "before & after" combining (supposed) Halloween costumes with people's names. As in EYEOFNEWTGINGRICH (58A: Halloween costume for ... a onetime House speaker?). I'm not sure which end of that one is more scary... and how many kids are going out as an "eye of newt" this year? TOMBSTONEPHILLIPS (39A: Halloween costume for ... a former "Dateline" host?) is another popular costume, right? A tombstone? Blah.

I just didn't like much of this. COZENER (12D: Con man), SCAPES (45D: Vistas), TRALA (120A: Insouciant syllables), SEEPY (33D: Like ooze), GUCK (87D: Slimy stuff)...

A DUD, in my opinion.

- Horace


  1. 46:46
    Agreed (mostly). I got SOLTI with no crosses, and the clue for POOH (73A "Tush!") was better than the "Winnie the..." type. 40D Cool, as soup (BLOWON) took me longer than it should have because I was thinking of the clue differently, but didn't know how to fit "vichyssoise" into the six available spaces. I also knew HIN (119A Ancient Hebrew liquid measure) because the Bible (Leviticus, I believe) goes over how many hin of oil are necessary for each sacrifice. Overall, though, this wasn't the best Sunday offering.

  2. It's funny, while I was solving it, I felt like I was enjoying it, but looking back on it, I can't find great examples... I enjoyed seeing NOBS in there. I wanted CERTainty for CERTITUDE, which I think is better, and which made the small section below the upper NW the last section to fall for me. SEURAT is clued very cutely. I couldn't parse LEGALAGE for a while, but it's excellently clued with "Majority". PLAYSITSAFE and LAIDANEGG are both fun. So while there was plenty of annoying stuff, I'd call it a wash.