Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015, Brendan Emmett Quigley and Joel Fagliano


Seems like this puzzle ought to have been in the week of "never been done before" from last month. It's a strange mish-mash of KENKEN and crosswording. The shaded squares (without the operands that apparently appeared in the print version, but supplied in the info section in the app) act like the enclosed spaces in Ken-ken. Thus you get TWO divided by ONE to get the number 2 (as in 2D), NINE less FOUR to get 5, EIGHT plus THREE to get 11, and SIX times SEVEN to get 42. Which is after all, the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Strange that five got left out.

It's definitely an odd duck of a theme, perhaps more fit for a Wednesday puzzle than a Tuesday, especially with the stretched nature of the fill. There were two potential Naticks: TWAY crossing GTO, and ALAN crossing MANN (although there was no real alternative in that crossing). Then you get such lovely (sarcasm implied) choices as REUNES, STS above PHU above REE, and the never before heard of OXENBERG, at least to me. Such a waste of an 8-letter answer.

There are a slew of partials, and references to both Karl Rove and Grover Nordquist. Hmmm. 1A: Off the shelves (GONE) is passable, so I'll give it a C+. My favorite non-theme clue and answer pair today is 19A: Christmas feature? (SILENTT). On the whole I'd say I was not terribly fond of this puzzle. So, on to Wednesday!

- Colum


  1. Well, hello...I'm back now after a whirlwind weekend+ in New Jersey. As a fan of KENKEN, I found this mash-up odd. I enjoyed SIXTUS, a pope name not often seen in a grid, but GALOSH? XAXES looks great in the grid, and I had the ______NTT of SILENTT for a while before figuring out the crosses, which worried me. I never heard of a CAPO, but that's not surprising. NOLESS was clued nicely, but I concur with Colum's assessment of the puzzle in general...some good stuff, but lots of junk.

  2. 0:10:37

    Yes, LOTS of junk. The NE took me forever today, as SPRIT (good word) would not come to me, and STS could have been RTS, and I just didn't know PHU or REE. What the hell is "Riddle-me-ree?" Yeesh. I didn't love it. The operands (now there's a crossword word!) showed up on the Web version, but I am not a huge fan of the KENKEN, and I didn't even bother to figure out that component of the puzzle. Onward indeed.