Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015, Jacob Stulberg


It's an interesting theme today, with words that mean LIGHTNING in four different languages. We're big fans of languages here at Horace and Frannie and Colum, so put the theme squarely in the plus column. The BIRMINGHAMBLITZ (42A: Luftwaffe attack on the British Midlands, 1940-43) is probably known only to history buffs nowadays, but the other two foreign entries, especially CHOCOLATEECLAIR (26A: Custard-filled treat) are well-known by most people.

For the language theme, though, we pay with fill like PAP, DTS, NAM, CNN, and the horrendous UIES. EGAD. There were two cross-reference clues (or four, depending on how you count them), and a lot of the clueing just seemed a little blah.

There were ASPECTS (15D: Things to consider) (like that) that were more fun. NERUDA (6D: Poet Pablo who won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature) is always popular, and it's sort of interesting that WEEP is beside HAHA (2D: Laugh) in the NW. And how can you not like BEAMUP (42D: Bring back to the Enterprise, say)? But overall I didn't love the fill.

1A: Brainiac (WHIZ) - Meh. C+ . The plus is for the Z.
Favorite clue/answer - 64A: Fudge, as a rule (BEND). I hate the expression "fudge the rules," but I love fudge, and besides, there's not much competition.

- Horace


  1. 5:47 (FWOE) - I hate typos. I put in JAGd or something and my eyes were already on to the next clue. It's probably pretty amazing I don't have more of those. I didn't much like this puzzle, language notwithstanding. EXITVISA is pretty good, ISUPPOSE.

  2. 9:47
    We'll be needing an EXITVISA in March when leaving Bali. I think that the one to get into the country is around $30, and the one to leave is around $0.13 for some reason. Anyway, I was able to fill in BIRMINGHAMBLITZ and EHUDBARAK, each with only a couple of crosses, so I guess I'm a history buff of sorts. I didn't mind the fill too much, except maybe for UIES (mentioned by Horace); that's awful. At first, I thought that 4D End of the Oxford English Dictionary would be "Zzz" (wasn't that in a recent puzzle?), but as soon as I got to 13A and knew it was EASE, that was corrected. Not much Huygens fill; maybe CANS and BUTT, had they been clued a bit differently. Nice cluing for NAM (59D Where Forrest Gump fought, for short), and I liked that TIE and DIE were adjacent, giving a nice homophone for what was once my favorite fashion. BTW, there's no title for this blog.

    1. Hi Title corrected, thanks. And thanks, too, for mentioning zzz and ZED. I had meant to comment on that. The former was given as the last entry in a different dictionary. Odd that the OED wouldn't have that.