Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday, January 20, 2016, Herre Schoewerwou


Here was another puzzle that played hard for me (note that my time is slower than last Friday's!). I broke into the puzzle at 7A: Late-night host before Carson (PAAR). And the puzzle played a little old-timey, just like that answer (Jack Paar hosted from 1957-1962). YENTL (1983), AJA (1987), PIA / ZADORA (1982 for the movie "Butterfly" - I can't show any pictures from this movie because they're too shocking), Charles READE ("Peg Woffington", published 1853).

Perhaps it's because of the theme? I mean, who actually drinks a DRYMARTINI any more? Okay, I'm kidding, because I know a few, including people who write in this blog or comment. I liked the hidden ingredients in EXTRAVIRGIN, RIVERMOUTH, and DIAPERSERVICE. I had no idea what the point of those answers were until I hit the revealer. And then we get a final twist, as it were. OLIVERTWIST, to be exact. That R is bothering me, though. There's a mini-theme addition with PEACH Schnapps at 45A.

Anyway, I'm not sure why this puzzle took longer. Yes, there are mildly tricky answers like PARTV and RVERS. The NW corner was actually pretty straightforward, but I just couldn't find any purchase initially. 1A: Soaks so as to extract flavor (STEEPS) is a reasonable answer saddled with an overly wordy clue (gets a C+). PEARLE is annoying because of the brand name aspect.

Later on, I put ArMs in for AMMO, which slowed the NE somewhat. I like POPMUSIC next to the death of good sound, AUTOTUNE, especially as the former uses too much of the latter for my taste. My favorite clue-answer is 38D: Scenes in shoeboxes, say (DIORAMAS). Nothing particularly tricky about it, but reminds me of a couple of school projects in my kids' years.

Shout out to IDRIS Elba right next to ETTA James. I love both "The Wire" and "At Last".

I didn't love this effort. ITISSO. I prefer "Make it so."

- Colum


  1. 5:06 (FWOE)

    Didn't know READE or IDRIS, so I flailed a bit at that cross. Otherwise, this went down pretty easy, as it were. I don't mind the R so much in OLIVERTWIST because, as the clue says, it sounds something like "olive or twist." Nice.

    I liked the clue on the ICE clue (Exchange program for preschoolers?), and I had "clue" for HINT (41A: Help for the puzzled) FORATIME. "Fall clearance item?" (RAKE) is also nice, but what's AMA (Online Q&A session)? I guess with 35D (The first "A" of 59-Across) I can guess that it maybe stands for "Ask me anything?," but neither of us has ever heard of it.

    Do people really solve crosswords in the LAV? Well, aside from our erstwhile commenter ET59, that is?

    1. Apparently "Ask me anything" is a Reddit thing. Outside of my experience. AMA to me is the American Medical Association, but maybe it's good we're trying new clues.

  2. 11:56
    Nothing slowed me down on this puzzle. I do enjoy a DRYMARTINI relatively often. I never heard of Joe ORTON or Charles READE, but all of the crosses were fair. The STEEPS/SANKAS pairing (first and last acrosses) is nicely done (some coffee is in "tea" bags, no?). With our ages, it's not surprising we haven't heard of AMA. The clue for ASS is a little out of season. LAV is bad.