Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016, Jacob Stulberg


Yesterday I ended by saying "Onward to the themelesses," and today, as if to spite me, we get a rare Friday theme. It fooled me for a while, but once I latched onto it, things fell neatly into place.

The trouble was that I figured out that the Italian-born composer ended in "VERDI," but I couldn't fit "Giuseppe" into the five remaining spaces, and I really didn't think there'd be a rebus on a Friday, so I went elsewhere. It didn't help that I had entered "Dr. Evil" at 1D, even though it forced me to remove OBLADI, which I had entered immediately for "23A: Start of a Beatles refrain." Oh well... that would all be straightened out eventually.

I think it was with SCHOENBERG (59A: & 60 Austrian-born composer) that the trick finally became clear. Very clever to find three composers whose last names contained other composers' last names within them, and then to put them together in such a lovely puzzle. I'll accept the occasional ENNIS (13A: Town near Ireland's Shannon Airport) and SRIS (25A: Eastern titles) when the rest of the puzzle is full of things like DAWDLES (44A: Takes one's sweet time), TENFOUR (31A: "Understood"), GORSE (63A: Spiny shrub), SUCCOR (47D: Aid), and the beautiful NOMDEGUERRE (21A: Carlos the Jackal, for one).

1A: Order (FIAT) is strong as well. I'm giving it an A-, and the minus is really just there to save some room "just in case." My favorite clue/answer is probably the NOMDEGUERRE that I mentioned previously, but I also very much enjoyed VOIDOF (18D: Without) because it was so unexpected.

It went by pretty quickly for a Friday, but I enjoyed it the whole way.


- Horace


  1. 18:56
    Nice time! I didn't understand the theme until I finally hit SCHOENBERG. Often spelled SCHONBERG with the umlaut. Then I went back and filled the other two in fairly quickly. I had "popEfranscis" at 54A, which fit all too well. I took it out, but couldn't recall Benedict's number, so I tried BENEDICTXII... I liked the Shakespeare crosses.

    1. Frannie dropped Pope Francis in there, too. I can't believe it fit!

  2. 43:35
    Great having a theme on a Friday just to stir things up a bit, and such an enjoyable one! It took me a long time to figure it out, but that's par for the course on the weekends. I know my popes, and BENEDICTXVI is the one that I've seen live, at the Vatican, speaking to the crowd that he held in his capable hands. Sue and I really enjoyed that spectacle, even though we're both atheists. I didn't love the COLA/COKE cross; I thought it a bit weak, but overall, this was a fun Friday.