Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015, Tracy Gray and Andrea Carla Michaels


Solved this with Frannie while we sat around with Huygens et uxor drinking coffee. The theme of concatenated band names is pretty well done. I guess I'm familiar with all the bands, now that I've looked up "Free."

At first I didn't realize that it was two band names in each answer, because CHICAGOTRAIN seemed perfectly reasonable for 22A: Elevated sight in the Windy City, well, all of them seem perfectly reasonable, come to think of it, which makes this quite a likable theme. The bands skew a little old, but that works well for this reviewer. YESNODOUBT (55A: "Absolutely!") might be the most unnatural, and EAGLESWINGS (62A: They're seen spread on the back of a quarter) is slightly marred by all the specialty quarters that have come out in the past few years. When is this constant changing-of-coin-designs fad going to stop? Can't we just have standard coins? Sheesh!

Some of the fill is a little GENERIC, like REMAIL (25A: Forward, as a letter) and ONHIRE (20A: Available, as a London limo), and I don't particularly love NEONATES for 120A: Newborns, but it's balanced by bits of crossword ELEGANCE like PRIMROSES (3D: Early spring blooms), ISAACNEWTON (67D: Who said "Aristotle is my friend - but my greatest friend is truth"). 27D: Something bound to sell (BOOK) is good, if almost quaint, and I learned the word "ecdysis" with the clue for MOLT, so that's nice.

1A: Plentiful (AMPLE) - B-. It's slightly better than average.
Favorite clue/answer - 26A: Quest for the unknown? (ALGEBRA). Perfect for a puzzle solved at Huygens' place.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. 29:44
    I enter my time because it's under 30 minutes. ALGEBRA is great to see in a puzzle or on the white board. I needed some crosses for OLEIN, although the word seems familiar. Only one cross was necessary for RUTH, since the quote ("In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land") was somewhat familiar, enabling me to place it in its approximate location in the Bible. PEETA was entered without crosses, too, as was SELIG, surpisingly. SIESTAS (71A Times when shops close) is one of my favorites today. It's too bad that PRIMROSES is plural, because it could have been paired with PEETA otherwise. A fun theme for a Sunday, even if it ran a bit easy for my taste.