Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015, Patrick Berry


I liked this theme quite a bit - common expressions changed slightly and clued humorously. I found it helpful to imagine that the late Shelby Foote was reading the answers, and I can just hear him saying things like BAYERMINIMUM (109A: Smallest possible aspirin dose?), NIGHTMAYORS (75A: Municipal leaders who work the late shift?), and PRIAMREALESTATE (91A: Troy, in the "Illiad"?). Anyway, I had fun with that…

The fill is pretty clean for a Sunday, but then, it's Patrick Berry, so we can't be too surprised. I spy certain crosswordese like PIA, EMT, TAO, OATER, UTES, and AULD, but it's kept to a minimum.  (Speaking of that, "slo" wasn't in today, but ROLO was, and it sure seems like that's been in a lot lately, too.) Another thing we shouldn't be too surprised about is very good cluing throughout. Witness "4A: Out patient's state" (COMA), "19A: Marriage agreement?" (IDO), "14D: Honey or pumpkin" (PETNAME), and "55A: Maker of indoor cars" (OTIS). We also find some interesting fill like TENSILE (35A: Kind of strength), EPICENTER (16D: Seismological focus), and MONASTERIES (3D: Brothers' keepers) - and all that is just in the top half of the puzzle!

Down below we find RAMPANCY (74D: Unchecked growth), ETHICAL (64D: Principled), the interesting trivia in 56D: Missouri's original capital (STCHARLES), and my favorite clue/answer pair today: POLEVAULT (8D: Attempt to pass the bar?).

1A: Butter? (RAM) - Solid A material.

Overall, an enjoyable Sunday.

- Horace


  1. 39:45
    I agree; this was a smooth and enjoyable offering. COMPARTMENT was nicely clued, too, and I imagine that Horace's father would know about that. I liked the "John of England" pair (ELTON and LOO). I had cOARSE in at first for 72A Rough, but changed it to the correct HOARSE when I saw the developing down of STCHARLES. No great Huygens material, which is surprising since there are a great many words in the grid. Good to see Boston represented again with PRU.

  2. I too really enjoyed the theme, although certain bloggers felt it was not good enough. But I thought it was a riot, if a quiet one. I loved MONASTERIES (Brothers' keepers). Very good.