Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday, February 27, 2016, Julian Lim


This grid, to me anyway, is a little like yesterday's, but reversed and opened up. Do you see what I mean? There's a line running diagonally down the middle, but the openings are wider and the flow is the other way. Oh... never mind....

1A: Anchor line (THISJUSTIN) (A) gets us started on the right foot. It's clever, kind of amusing, and perfectly normal. And off of that, we have a reference to "Casey at the Bat," (THAYER) which one of my brothers memorized and recited at school one time, I believe, so that brought a smile. HATERS (2D: No fans) is good and fresh, and SEL (4D: Frites seasoning) reminds Frannie and me that we will soon be having frites at Manneken Pis with our friends in Utrecht, where we will be staying at an AIRBNB!

I've never heard of TAMIAMI (8D: Florida community with a portmanteau name), or HALVA (30D: Crumbly Midwestern dessert), and REATA (24A: Bit of vaquero gear) is always a little wince-worthy, but like yesterday, I'm willing to overlook the junk when there's so much good to overpower it.

The NE, for example, held together as it is by OLEO, ILE, and COSTA boasts a lovely eight-stack of ALPACINO, LEASHLAW (13D: Dog checker?) (nice clue), and FORKEEPS (14D: Permanently). And down in the SE we get the amusingly clued STAMPALBUM (61A: Book with profiles of many people) (I had "photoALBUM" for a while), PARISIENNE (64A: Coco Chanel, par exemple), and the ironically comforting, given the clue, ANDSOTOBED (66A: Words before crashing?) with hardly any glue at all. Well, except maybe for DIPSO (54D: Sponge). What the hell is that? Is a drunk called a sponge? Hmmm...

Anyway, if you'll allow me to gloat a tiny bit, I just feel like I've been firing on all cylinders these last two days after my recent DNF. I've been totally INTUNE (49D: Connected (with)) ATALLTIMES. OK. enough gloating. I hope you enjoyed it, too.

- Horace


  1. 39:52
    "...profiles of many famous people...?" It doesn't look it from my time, but I crushed this puzzle, finishing all but the mid-south in 16 and change. DIPSO, DERMIS, STAMP_____(I had the "ALBUM" part for a long time, but knew that SPA went at 61D), and the "ANDSO" of ANDSOTOBED. So as you can deduce, it took me over twenty minutes to finish that little area, but I'm not complaining in the least. I love a puzzle with a bunch of long answers that are just ordinary phrases. I wanted "podiatrist" for 13D Dog checker?, but think that the real answer is at least as good, and has the added benefit of having the proper number of letters. Nice to see ERIS in there, which I entered with no crosses, APRIL was clued very nicely with a bit from the Bard, and even YELLOWS was nice. As a math nerd, I liked having SINE in there. I guess I don't really like NANS because 1) it's plural, and 2) it's usually spelled "naan,' but that's nit-picking. The "W" of SOWED/POWHATAN was my last entry.

  2. I don't know the time on today's puzzle, although it felt like about 18-20 minutes, because my app has reset the clock and is counting up even though the grid is all filled in. Weird.

    Anyway, there is much to like about this puzzle. My wife and two daughters will be, however briefly, PARISENNEs for 10 days in April. I will DRINKSTO that. But I am not a DIPSO (or a sponge, which I definitely recognize as a synonym). We too will be staying in an AIRBNB, and we may drink LAIT. I love love love ANDSOTOBED. What a wonderful way to end the puzzle. Strong work.