Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016, Paula Gamache


I enjoyed this puzzle. The transitions between the three sections were tight, and the four linking entries - GEMINIS (26A: Kennedy and Bush 41, but no other U.S. presidents), BETWEENUS (29A: "Mum's the word"), ESCAPEKEY (35A: It's in the far northwest) (that's a little cheap, I think), and SUBARID (38A: Moderately dry) - did not come quickly, but the sections were thick enough so that you almost always had a cross for something - provided, of course, that you could get a few starters! One such, for me, was GOMPERS (21A: Pioneering labor leader Samuel). I wasn't positive about it, but it fit, and hey, it worked! I also guessed RES (20A: ____ nullius (no one's property)) without crosses - but needed a few for JURIS (24A: Nullius ____ (of no legal force)). That's a nice Latin pairing. And on the "non-high-fallutin' side, I also dropped in ROBOTO (41A: "Mr. ____" (Styx hit)). Hah!

Some lovely fill today. POMPOUSASS (3D: Blowhard) is, I think, my favorite, but NOTORIETY (9D: Unwanted attention), GALOSHES (34D: Couple taken out on a rainy day), VAMOOSED (17A: Amscrayed), and NOSTRIL (42A: Blow hole?) were also quite good. Lot's of "quote fill" today - OHDEARME, SUREYOUARE, BEPATIENT, IMLIKE (love it), and the aforementioned BETWEENUS. I always find these types of answers a little more difficult to guess, but I don't really have a problem with them. I guess I used to, but I've come around.

There's a little glue, like SMA and EMP (who knew they were considered "Emperor of India?"), but with so much quality material, I don't care at all.

Overall, thumbs up!

- Horace

p.s. 1A: 1991 Scorsese/De Niro collaboration (CAPEFEAR) - meh. C+.


  1. 30:33
    Boy was this a tough one for me! The NW and SE corners both fell with hardly any difficulty but I could get no purchase on the center at all. For a long time I had ODOR and xERS in the NE and NOSTRIL and SEAMEN crossed by ___TIME in the SW and nothing else. Fortunately Hope came to the rescue with BETWEENUS and WHIPSIN which fixed that incorrect x in the far NE corner. The rest took some time for sure, especially that PABARKER. Note that when you google "pa barker" you get "Ma Barker". I don't think George Barker was known as such. So it's a major stretch. But I liked most everything else.

  2. 58:52 (FWOE)
    The cross of BOOMED/MLS got me, and I agree with Colum in that this was an unusually difficult Friday. After staring at the grid for around 20 minutes and filling in just a couple of answers, ODOR and TOSS as well as the incorrect LeveL for 39A True, stIrSIN instead of WHIPSIN and whoAThEre for 29D ("Hold your horses"), I thought I'd never finish the puzzle. Oddly, though, JURIS went in next, dug out from somewhere, GALOSHES went in and slowly but surely, I was able to fill in the puzzle. I guessed an "n" for the above-mentioned cross, thinking that BOOnED was perfectly reasonable for 22A Was suddenly successful, but if I'd have thought about it for a second, I'd have realized it wasn't. I'd only complain about 40A Splitting words (TATAS), which could have been clued more interestingly, but I liked 25A Like NSFW links (ADULT), even though I wasn't familiar with the acronym prior to this puzzle. BTW, I liked the clue for ESCAPEKEY, and that it was spelled out in its entirety. Loved POMPOUSASS.