Monday, December 7, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015, Neville Fogarty

0:07:41

This took me more than twice as long as yesterday's puzzle, and it felt like a struggle the whole way! Right away things got off on the wrong foot when I couldn't remember RABBI (1A: Yom Kippur service leader). (By the way, that's a solid C 1A.) Things got better with EDAM (6A: Dutch cheese) and PENN (10A: Talkative half of a magic duo), but it was all fits and starts today.

The theme is one of the common ideas, and it's well-executed, I think. Each of the top four theme answers does what the revealer says it does: BREAKFAST. That is, each one starts with "FA" and ends with "ST." Like FATHERKNOWSBEST (40A: Classic sitcom with kids called Princess, Bud and Kitten). All I could think of when I read that clue was "Married With Children." Hah! Well, I never watched either show, so how was I to know? Also, it's kind of a weird clue for FALSEARREST (52A: Potential charge against a bounty hunter). It took me a while to figure out what they meant.

Elsewhere in underworld clues we find the interesting GRAFT (24D: Bribery and such). See also SEXTAPES (43D: Celebrity scandal fodder). And if a lot of them come out of California, say, can that be considered a BLUESTATE? And speaking of BLUESTATE, I like that it is perfectly symmetrical to REDSHIRTS (37D: Holds aside for a year, in college sports). That's not a term I'm familiar with, but I do like that kind of attention to detail in a grid.

MARTYR (9D: Thomas Becket, e.g.) is good. IDEEFIXE (5D: Obsession) was surprising on a Tuesday. I like the bluntness of "45A: 20" for SCORE. Let's even go so far to say that's my favorite clue/answer today.

Overall I guess there was a lot I liked in this one, and when that's true on a Tuesday, things are pretty good.

- Horace

3 comments:

  1. 10:39
    REDSHIRTS was unknown to me, and slowed me down in that section. I starred EYED (20A Checked out), the The Who song reference (NOONE) and ASS (62D Real blockhead). Overall, it was a nice puzzle. I had the IDEE___ for quite a bit before I realized it must be that old standby. TAXI appears again (or I guess it could have been in the Sunday Telegram). I've ridden in a classic IROC only once; I guess it was OK. Not much of note other than those things. SOSAD.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps listening to more Wagner is in order!

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  2. 4:21
    Much to like here, for a Tuesday. How about 4 Xs, but none forced into place? UNIX is probably the biggest stretch for an early week puzzle. I knew REDSHIRTS, but I didn't actually see the clue until I already had _EDSH____ in place. ICONCUR with Horace about the placement of "blue" and "red". Nicely done. Funny that 6D was immediately obvious to me, seeing as how Cece and I are doing that show currently...

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