Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016, Ian Livengood





I'm done now. You can take your fingers out of your ears. Really.

But, seriously, folks. Fastest by far for a Monday, beating my former fastest by nearly 20 seconds. The puzzle is straightforward, although it kind of breaks up into three separate sections. Since it's a Monday, that doesn't bother me as much. The NE to SW stretch is nice and open.

The theme is pretty loose: standard phrases where the second part only is a kind of CHEWTOY for a dog. I like 35D: *Inaptly named part of the elbow (FUNNYBONE) the best. I also like how the theme answers are placed: by crossing two in each corner, that open diagonal section is almost like a themeless. The center is particularly nice, with SKEWERS, HERESY, and KARMA. You also get the nice long downs at 15D: Mass assistant (ALTARBOY) and 33D: "Where does that guy get off?!" (THENERVE), my favorite clue-answer pair.

There are some strangely weak crossings, such as AVID and AVIS, DINER and DINERO, ONUS and OPUS, NEW and NEWT (!).

I enjoyed ATTILA next to Dan'l BOONE next to CONEY Island. A very strange juxtaposition, those three.

1A: Liberals, with "the" (LEFT). Well, I don't like having the "the" in the clue, so that knocks it down a few grades. I'll give it a B-. Feel the Bern!

- Colum


  1. 3:34
    When I had to go back and forth a little and still came away with my time, I wondered what I'd see from you! Not bad. Someday, you'll be in the twos.

    I liked this one, too, for all the reasons you mentioned. The theme shape was good, and the theme, too, is light and fun. Who knew puppies liked tropes?

    1. Nice time, Horace! he said earnestly and perhaps a bit smugly.

    2. At the tournament, we'd both get the same bonus. :)

  2. By the way, Colum - I registered for the ACPT this weekend - hint, hint - and Frannie claims she'll be doing so soon.

  3. 6:30
    Well, if you add your two times together, I win! I, too, liked the puzzle today, even the odd pairings. HERESY is always nice, although it shouldn't be a crime, especially with such a terrible penalty ala Joan of Arc. Interesting that it crosses ALTARBOY, a position I held for many years, well into my atheism. Worst clue/answer? 21A "...and yet, here we ___" (ARE). C'mon.