Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015, Patrick Berry


A smooth and pleasing themeless from Mr. Berry. I've never seen Frozen, so 1A is something I know purely from these crosswords. OLAF is a classic bit of crosswordese, so I'm glad it's no longer clued with reference to the King of Norway. I'll give it a C-, and it's definitely one of the worst bits of the puzzle, so unfortunate it's at 1A. Fortunately, everything looked up quickly thereafter.

The NW corner actually fell into place quickly. I had ORBS, which led to BLEND____ (I misread the clue to be in the present tense. I like FENCERS, and ACEYDEUCY is really nice, although I wanted there to be another E before the final Y, so left it as ACEYDEUCe. This led to that small section being the final area I filled in.

19A: Words before taking a shot? (SAYCHEESE) was very good - I was thinking about "lights, camera, action", or "ready, aim, fire". Very nice clue at 8D: SpongeBob SquarePants lives inside one (PINEAPPLE) - which leads to the point that living in an underwater pineapple is pretty absurd.

There are a number of misleading clues. How about 41A: Time unit (ISSUE) - nice hidden capital there? And crossing it, 31D: South African game (GNUS). 44D: Ironic items to steal (ALARMS) is just plain silly, in a good way. And SMORE redux!

I think my favorite clue-answer is 42D: Given a raw deal (SHAFTED), just for the rawness of the answer. I also enjoyed 30D: Metropolis misidentification (ITSAPLANE).

I probably liked the NE the least, with FILLIP and LUIGI. AQUIVER is a nice word, though, even with that extra A.

Good Friday. Looking forward to tomorrow's!

- Colum


  1. 17:42

    Loved this one. We solved it late in the evening, so it gave us a brief period of "not-thinking-about-Paris." Agree about the NE, but I think FILLIP is a word you don't hear enough, and AQUIVER always feels a little forced to me. Funny how opinions can differ, eh?

    There are so many great things, though. The ITSAPLANE is my favorite. But ACUTELY (39D: How devastating insults are felt), HORSEWHIP (27D: Coachman's handful), REALM, INESSENCE, DIGRESS, ADHERES, AGHAST... are all so good! I liked the clue on HOUSE (26A: Gambling opponent) even though it went in quickly.

    As usual with a Patrick Berry, it was over too fast, but this was a damn fine grid.

  2. 28:17
    Not much to slow me down on this one. AGHAST is a nice word, as is ADHERES. SHOE and HORN are right next to each other, crossing with SHERRY, which I've been meaning to get more of in my diet. CLAP could have been clued a bit more grossly. What, living in a PINEAPPLE at the bottom of the sea is absurd?