Sunday, December 6, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015, Jason Mueller


Sub-four even while half-listening to the Sunday Night Football game in the background, and what's more, even with IRENIC (43D: Peaceful) in the grid! (It's from Greek.) Who knows, maybe the background football helped with TROYAIKMAN (17A: He quarterbacked the Dallas Cowboys to three 1990s Super Bowl wins) - Mr. Aikman was in a pretty funny commercial during the first quarter.

My recent method for early-week puzzles is to start with the Across clues until I hit one that I don't know immediately, and then I move to the Downs, starting as close to 1D as possible. Today, the acrosses were going so well that one of the first ones to hold me up was the revealer! I had already gotten the first two themers, but I just didn't even bother to assign any brain at all to the theme. As soon as I saw it was the revealer I skipped it and moved on.

But now that I have gone back to figure it out I love it! Everybody loves the Classics, right? I heartily endorse this Monday theme focussing on the ILIAD. It was on my mind already today because of one of the theme answers in the Sunday crossword - "91A: Troy, in the 'Iliad'" (PRIAMREALESTATE). Heh. Funny.

The fill is decent. There are those nice side-by-side nines in the SW and NE - ELECTORAL (31D: Kind of map often colored red and blue) beside SOPHOMORE (32D: Many a junior varsity player) is the better of the two pairs, but the other isn't terrible. There is the aforementioned IRENIC, and ARON, SARI, ALOT, ADEN, FALA(!), and OMAN, but I'm giving it all a pass for the theme.

1A: Pirate's "Stop!" (AVAST). B. It's good, but not great.
Favorite clue/answer - 48D: The "fact" that the Great Wall of China is visible from space, and others (MYTHS). I like the sarcasm.

- Horace

p.s. There's a nice transcript of Will Shortz working on 1D and 2D from this puzzle over on It's an interesting look into the editing of a puzzle.


  1. 3:42
    I would have been faster but I read 61A as 51D and put RASA in again where ALEC was supposed to go. I was only missing the L of ELECTORAL and the C of IRENIC at that moment. Ah well. Yeah, IRENIC. That's rough. Although it fits the Greek theme of the puzzle. I call foul on ACHILLESHEEL, as that directly refers to the actual ILIAD character, whose heel was the only part his mother couldn't dip in the river Lethe, and thus was his vulnerable spot. I'm sure Hector or Helen could have been worked in.

    I like the next door pairs of clues (ACTIV and VERDI, and TRAINOR and THAT). Well, okay, that last one is a stretch of a connection, but it was cute.

  2. 7:08
    IRENIC was totally unknown to me, but the crosses were all easy. No starred clues today, but I loved the theme. I read ILIAD back in 2004 and quite enjoyed it. Maybe I'll read EMMA or Odyssey sometime, perhaps if I'm ever LAIDUP. GAUNT is a nice word, and of course I love FOCI. When I'm in Yorba LINDA, I'll need to stop by the RMN Library for a visit. There are currently no plans for that, though; turns out I'll be close to the Gulf of ADEN much sooner, where I'll probably mention, "IMHOT."