Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016, Herre Schouwerwou


Ah, Monday. Start of a new work week. And a challenge to see how quickly I can make it through the NYT crossword. I didn't manage to break 4 minutes today, but I see that as a good thing, mostly.

I recognized the theme part of the way through: two word phrases with the pattern P___ F___. I was surprised not to find any revealer, some way the pattern would be explained. And it turns out there isn't one. It really is just that: P___ F___. What makes up for it is the density of six excellent exemplars. Of course PINKFLOYD is my favorite. But PETITFOUR is nice, as is POPPINFRESH. It's slightly weird to see POUNDFOOLISH without its sibling, penny-wise. There are no duds in the theme, so that's positive.

The fill has a foursome of proper names: APATOW, which just about everybody knows; SETH MacFarlane, also well known; FARON Young, country legend, writing from the 1950s to the 1980s, also completely unknown to me; and SADA Thompson, from Family (1976-1980), which I never watched, nor had I heard of her at all - a little far fetched for a Monday. I wonder if that section could have been reworked with "dada" in her place, but I see how the crossing of the two theme answers close by constrained the fill.

Otherwise, outside of things like IDEO, NEGS, and EPOS, I think the fill is pretty good. 1A: Small jump (HOP) is very bland, and gets a D. My favorite clue-answer was 26A: "$&#@" and "%*&!" (CURSES). Nicely done. I also liked 10D: What the numbers 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 are in (REVERSE). Overall, I'll say I liked it.

- Colum


  1. 4:33

    Yeah, a decent enough Monday. I might have gone a little easier on ol' HOP. And I love the clue for ANI (14A: April is the only month that has one). Excellent.

    Maybe PFFT is kind of a hidden, half-revealer. I don't really think that the final "T" is ever really added to such an utterance, and it would have been an even funnier revealer with yet another F. Ah well... I guess I'm going to have to start constructing my own puzzles. Perhaps that's what I should be doing during the months that I'm not doing the reviews...

  2. Also, I see Dutch answers everywhere. HUN could be clued as "their, in Dutch" and ELF could be "Eleven..."

    Actually, the more I look this over, the more I like it. The two names you called out are absurd on a Monday, but I like the spirit of the cluing overall, and as you say, there's not much other glue.

  3. 6:26
    Boy, I've got to start stepping up my times. Maybe I'll try to just fly through the acrosses or something next Monday and see if that cuts it down a bit. I tend to just solve sections and move along. I I agree that CURSES was good. SPINAL could have been clued with a "Tap" but I thought this was a nice Monday offering regardless of the lackluster nature of some of the clues and of stuff like REARMS and HRS. I didn't really even notice the names that were mentioned (SADA or FARON) because of the crosses, but they are terrible. FAZE (60D Discombobulate) was excellent, and HOP deserved its "D". Finally, SNOOT is also great {and would suffice}.

    1. Ha! I just recited that poem while walking with Frannie and Dad.