Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015, David J. Kahn


A pretty Saturday-ish Saturday. I started it late Friday night after getting back from a poker game (didn't see a single ACETEN all night!), and got off to a pretty slow start, but once everything started going it filled in pretty steadily. There's the mini-theme crossing of PINOCCHIO (33A: His first major screen appearance was in 1940) and JIMINYCRICKET (15D: Partner of 33-Across), but other than that, it's mostly medium-length fill, much of it quite good.

One of the first things Frannie and I got was BLUELINE (54A: Part of Boston's subway system that runs under Boston Harbor), and it was nice to see the T getting a little play in the puzzle. Frannie was also instrumental in getting MOREY (21A: Amsterdam of "The Dick Van Dyke Show"), HENNER (8D: Actress Marilu), and MARYS (30A: St. ____ parish (Crosby/Bergman movie setting). We've each got our strengths, and old movies and TV shows is definitely hers. And speaking of old movies, it's always amusing to think of Cleese's performance as LANCELOT. Richard Gere's, on the other hand, we are not familiar with.

Good cluing throughout today, with nice little touches like the sequential "Zip"s (PEP & SPICE), the two "clear" clues along the bottom "59A: What all the answers to should be clear?" (EYETEST) (ok, the clue there is slightly tortured) & "60A: Make clear, say" (STRESS), and cutesy question-mark clues like 7A: Was consistently in the hole? (SHOTPAR) and 51D: Result of a split decision? (SECT). 

1A: Company whose name, paradoxically means "shelter with no wall" (RAMADA). B. Interesting clue saves a corporate name entry from the derision it would normally receive. ("Rāmus" is "branch" in Latin, and RAMADA sort of means "branchify." It's basically a roof made of woven branches that you can sit under. At least that's what I think it is after a very brief Web investigation.) I actually prefer 1D: Position papers? (RESUMES), but we're not doing a systematic ranking of 1D, are we.

Favorite clue/answer - 13D: Put on something old? (REENACT). Even with the question mark.

- Horace

p.s. Oh, ok... here.


  1. 19:37
    For a long time I had a fair amount in all the corners without any connections between them. It was when I replaced baRED with AIRED at 22A: Not kept secret, that I finally connected everything. After that everything went pretty quickly. It's amazing how one wrong answer corrected can be the lynchpin for an entire grid. My entree into the puzzle was SONAR/JOETORRE, and like you, BLUELINE was my first answer in the SW.

    I'm going to call out APRILS as weird, seeing it twice in two days. Before that, the last time was in 2010, pre-Horace & Frances. Also, the veritable boom in appearances of SLO.

  2. P.S. I don't know about the clue for SHOTPAR. Anybody who finishes a round of golf will be "consistently in the hole," no matter what they shoot.

  3. 35:54
    Good time for me for a Saturday. I thought I was on the wrong path when I had the RF of RFKSTADIUM entered through the crosses, but it turns out otherwise. BLUELINE went in immediately, and JOETORRE with only a few crosses (SONAR, ARMENIA and HENNER). Like Frannie, I knew MOREY and HENNER right away, but needed a cross to get MARYS. PINOCCHIO went in off of the ____HIO which let to JIMINYCRICKET. UMATHURMAN (nice to see the whole name) went in slowly since I never heard of the movie referenced. I wanted Oahu at 6D, but when I entered SANEST I knew it must be the often-seen ATTU. I suppose it's unlikely that I'll ever visit that island. I guessed MINARET immediately off of the clue, and NEPTUNE (37D Triton's locale) was a no-brainer, but CAPABLE had a clue that took me a while to understand properly, so CONAN didn't go in too quickly. LANCELOT was a gimme, although I've never seen Gere's version, either. The IRS record label is not known to me.