Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Lynn Lempel


Since I forgot to score 1A yesterday, let's start with that. TALC (Soapy powder mineral) C-. I dislike the word "powder" as it is used in the clue. In its mineral form it's not a powder. It's often made into powder, but that's different.

The theme, on the other hand, is a type that I quite enjoy: The wacky misreading of a word. 17A: Detonates a weapon in the underworld? (BOMBSHELL) Hilarious. 54A: Puts up with one's family? (BEARSKIN). Hilarious. 61A: Scrutinizes the underworld? (EYESHADES). Meh. What is Ms. Lempel's fascination with the underworld?! (See also: 14A: Valhalla's ruling god (ODIN).) Aside from that duplication, I love the theme and I'm giving it an A-.

It's too bad that the long downs couldn't have played a part in the theme as well. "Jack Sparrow is one of the 'in' crowd?" PIRATESHIP, or "Husband made out the inscription on wife's wedding band?" REDHERRING. So close!...

Tried "burn" for ITCH (42A: Something calamine lotion alleviates) and "grub" for EATS (49A: Vittles), but other than that, things went along pretty smoothly. Didn't love RAH, ATRIA, OLESETTE, or AGUE, but WRECKS (30A: Junkyard jalopies), STANCH (41D: Stop the flow of), HEATH (26D: Moor), and FIEND (49D: Diabolical sort) (There she goes again, invoking the Devil!) are all good. My favorite is 67A: Equivocate (HEDGE). Why? You ask? Well... I like the... I mean... it's just that... the way it...

- Horace


  1. 7:19
    My time for this was faster than that for Monday's...unusual. I also loved the theme (and Horace's attempts to continue it for the downs...well, mostly). 20A could have, I guess, been clued more "blue" but it was fine the way it was, I mean, we wouldn't want to be CRUDE. Speaking of that, 34D Clip or snip (TRIM) could have, too, if I recall my slang properly. Anyway, I'll MAKEDO with the clues offered.

  2. 5:11
    I liked EYESHADES! It's great the way the word has to be re-pronounced for it to work. I'm commenting on this puzzle after my comment on Wednesday's, and look: JUDEA and HADES are crossing each other! Maybe that's why I messed that up (I solved them back to back). Anyway, ODIN has nothing to do with the underworld.

    1. But his realm, Valhalla, is where the dead go, isn't it? and that's analogous, at least, to the underworld. Sheesh!

    2. Well, those who die in battle go to Valhalla. The rest go to Hel.

    3. Well ok, then - it's time for me to read up on my Norse mythology!