Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015, Joel Fagliano


Today a virtual game of HANGMAN from Mr. Fagliano. Not bad. Five questions, all differently phrased, leading to the final, unchecked answer at the bottom spelling out the game. After staring at the grid for a while, I guess you can see two legs standing on top of a platform as well as the suggestion of a head, arms, and torso. So overall, high marks for the theme.

1A: Home for José (CASA), gets maybe a B-, maybe a C+, but the overall fill, I think, is pretty good. I liked realizing that "Orlando" has the same number of letters as ANAHEIM (4D: Disneyland's locale). I wonder if that ever occurred to Walt?

Not too much long stuff outside of the theme today. We have the joke of an Oscar winner CHICAGO, WELFARISM (8D: Policy of widespread government social programs), which I don't love as an answer, and HEALTHFUL (6D: Salubrious), which is fine. Did anyone else put "sex" in at 30A: It can be casual: Abbr. (FRI) before seeing the "Abbr." part of the clue? No? Just me? Well... ok. Moving on... SCHUSS (38D: Go downhill fast) was a fun one, eh? And I like the nod to IMDB (55A: Website for film buffs). And "63A: Pet that's often aloof" (CAT) is a funny clue.

Probably the weakest so far this week, but still, not bad.

- Horace


  1. 7:51
    Got several of the theme answers and had _ONG_ON. Then the other shoe dropped and I figured out it was HANGMAN. Turned out I'd guessed "toe" for 50D: Something to dip in water (OAR), which gave ANYoS at 54A. I like the theme answers because they look crazy in the grid. The fill is fine, the theme is fun, and it's more clearly something that hasn't been done before than yesterday's puzzle. But as a puzzle it's not as good.

  2. The other thing I forgot to say: this guy's really good at playing Hangman! He got the answer correct in 5 guesses, with the last being the vowel. Would have been funny if there had been an incorrect answer in there and a place for the hangman...

  3. 23:05
    It took me a little while to figure out that HANGMAN was being played, but once that happened the puzzle went relatively fast. I think that Horace is being a bit nice with the B-/C+ rating for CASA; the clue and answer were both bad and uninspired. AEROSOL (41A Option for a graffiti artist) was nice, and BALM instead of the usual "aloe" was a good surprise at 27A Sunburn remedy. WELFARISM was saved by the FRYCOOK and MCENROE crosses. I also liked BYTE (58D 10100110, e.g.), but there is not much else of note in today's puzzle. I agree that this is the weakest of the bunch so far this week.