Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016, Timothy Polin


An amusing theme today, taking terms used in basketball and giving them wacky clues to force a different reading. It's one of the standard tropes, and it's done well here, we thought. There's quite a bit of it - eleven answers - and a couple of them are Down answers, which is always nice. I especially liked SHOTCLOCK (58A: Busted timer?). It's so simple. But NOTHINGBUTNET (101A: Lament from an unlucky shrimper?), FREETHROW (79D: Rug dealer's special?) (Frannie's favorite), and BALLHANDLER (66A: Desi Arnaz?) are also quite good.

With so much theme, it's not too surprising, I guess, that we get a more than our usual allotment of 25-cent entries that you don't see every day - BAIZE (12D: Card table cloth) (Frannie knew this one!), AQUILA (19A: Eagle constellation) (you don't say...), MAGDA (81A: One of the Gabor sisters) (the forgotten Gabor), ALECTO (94A: One of the furies), and GIMBAL (52D: Stabilizer of a ship's compass). We also see, as usual, some less-than-perfect fill like OCTAL and WARBOW, but you know what? The more I look around at this grid, the more I like it. I've been sitting here trying to concentrate on this review during the acceptance speeches, and I keep seeing clues like 58D: Mobile home resident? (SNAIL), 21A: Runway model? (AIRPLANE), and 42: Quaker of note? (ASPEN). Some are critical of the "question mark clue," but I don't mind so much...

OK, that's all I've got. I'm sorry this is so late.

- Horace

p.s. 1A: Make less dangerous, in a way (DECLAW) - B.
Favorite clue/answer - 31A: Confer (POWWOW). Love all the Ws.
Least favorite - 28A: Trickle (OOZE). Not the same thing!

1 comment:

  1. This one went fast for a Sunday (again, on the tarmac, but not more than 1/2-hour). Fun and amusing theme, even though I'm no big fan of sport. TRON (53A Sci-fi film with a 2010 sequel went in, sadly, with no hesitation or crosses. Grossest: PTUI (47A Sound near a spittoon). Amazing that Frannie knew BAIZE. I knew AQUILA with a couple of crosses, but not right off the top of my head. Oh...DOUBLEDRIBBLE is gross, too.