Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015, David Kwong


A really challenging rebus puzzle, at least for me. And who doesn't love a good rebus puzzle on a Thursday? I like that the PA squares are randomly s[pa]ttered across the grid, making them unpredictable. I knew something was up when I hit 15A, and knew I wanted OOM[PA]H[PA]H, but I didn't know yet how to fit it in. It didn't help that the next rebus answer I knew was SAMPECKIN[PA]H, in that the final syllable was the same. It wasn't until 54A: Blanket remedies ([PA]NACEAS) that I figured it out.

The revealer is very well done today. 40A: Popular zoo attraction ... or a hint to 11 squares in this puzzle (PANDA). The two unchecked squares highlight the other way to read the answer, namely P and A. It makes for an unusual right-left symmetry to the grid, and also gives four 10-letter down answers in the top portion of the grid. I like 3D: Cold (IMPERSONAL) - a very succinct clue for a nice word. I'm also [pa]rtial to S[PA]NISHRICE. Yum.

I don't know if anybody who reads this blog knows that not so long ago I was in Rome, and visited the Vatican City. I did not get to see the [PA][PA]L[PA]LACE, more's the pity, but it wins my vote for best theme answer of the day. I also enjoyed the 16-letter answers shoehorned into a 15 x 15 grid.

The reason I had such an ex[pa]nsive time for this puzzle lies in the NE corner. I didn't see that I'd misspelled 12D, and the hidden capital in 18A: Hall of fame (ARSENIO) was just that, hidden, don't you see. Or you don't see. Or at least I didn't see, you see. Anyway, after I fixed that, I was left with 13D: Permanently (ININK). I really had ININ_ and just couldn't see it. [Pa]rtly because I was torn between STOic and STONY for 14D: Expressionless.

Oh, and also, I missed [PA]LIMONY for a while, thinking it was aLIMONY, which left aSSE for 50D: Out ([PA]SSE). Didn't seem right.

I obviously should love 1A: ____ nerve, the longest in the human body (SCIATIC), but it took far too long to figure out, seeing as I had fouLS at 1D for a while. I'll give it a B. My second choice for favorite clue-answer pair is 38A: Bygone European capital (LIRA). Took me too long to realize it was about money. My first choice is 2D: What's between here and the sun, in song? (COMES). That's really clever!

Didn't like MAMMY, but that's about it. Thumbs up.

- Colum

PS: Hang on! The grid's a panda!!!!


  1. 62:49
    I don't think that if a puzzle takes one under 20 minutes to complete that one should be allowed to say "really challenging." I agree about [PA][PA]L[PA]LACE being the best answer. Isn't that the building from which the Pope speaks to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square? We didn't go for a tour of the residence, either, but we were there for such a previously mentioned gathering while Benedict XVI gave a speech for St. Peter/St. Paul day, which was excellent. I wanted Pip at 61A Dickens boy (TINYTIM) but couldn't come up with a way to stretch it out enough. 60A Fix (S[PA]Y) was a nice use of the rebus, as was 59D Yields ([PA]YS). I knew the KNOWNOTHING[PA]RTY almost immediately from the clue, but until I figured out the rebus, which obviously didn't happen too terribly quickly, I couldn't enter it. Excellent Thursday offering that would anger Sue greatly, so I may show it to her later on.

  2. 29:04

    Started this late in the evening, after a couple of gin drinks. Didn't figure out the rebus, and didn't get very far, though I did enter SAMPEkinpaw with only a cross or two.

    In the morning it all came together nicely. Everyone DOES love a rebus on a Thursday, and the only slight drawback to the excellent revealer is that it contains the "PA" string without using a rebus, which is something of a no-no, isn't it? I mean, there's no other way to have done it, and it is the revealer and all, and yes, it is very good... but still.

    Gotta second the love for the clue on 2D. Loved FLIP[PA]NT (16A: Cheeky) - another of those succinct clues. And I'm glad to know it took you, COLUM, at least a little time to come up with SCIATIC. I didn't get it without crosses, but I was imagining you grinning as you immediately filled it in.

    A solid Thursday, just like you like.

    p.s. You were in Italy?!