Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday, February 7, 2016, Alan Arbesfeld


Adding insult to a less-than stellar Super Bowl result, we have this so-so Sunday puzzle that disses some standard things and phrases. As in TABLEOFDISCONTENTS (29A: Ones giving the waiter a hard time?) and DISBARANDGRILL (113A: Question harshly after not allowing to practice?). Not bad, I suppose. A little tortured, but that's how these wacky themes often go. So how about a C+ for the theme.

The fill, on the other hand, is downright tortured in places. HURTERS (44A: Sadists, e.g.) is very poor, and many of the threes were either weak or obscure - FMS, OSE, REB (clued as 60A: Orthodox Jewish honorific), FLA (clued with "Hollywood's locale: Abbr.), OYL, SCH, SOR, and INE. Plurals include BABAS, DECAFS, FERNS, and ULNAR (45D: Kind of nerve). :) It almost feels like a plural, doesn't it? Lots of proper names, too, some of them quite old: OLAND (9D: Charlie Chan portrayer), DESICA (12D: "The Bicycle Thief" director Vittorio), and MESTA (36D: Legendary Washington hostess), for three.

But I didn't hate everything about it. I loved the look of TOOOLD (119A: Past the cutoff age), those three Os look great. See also the double-N, double-EE in BEINNEEDOF (16D: Require). PROBOSCIS (43D: Schnozzola) is a fun one, and everybody loves BACON and TUNAROLLS. I also enjoyed TAILFIN (1A: Ornamental projection on some 1950s cars), and will give it a B. And my favorite clue answer was 108A: Major in astronomy? (URSA). Although the nicely misleading 80A: Monroe or Taylor (ACTRESS) was a runner-up.

Overall, not our favorite Sunday puzzle.

Poor Cam. I thought it was his year.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. 38:47
    I'll agree that the fill is tortured in places, but I enjoyed most of the theme answers, especially the above-mentioned TABLEOFDISCONTENTS. I also liked the "Something that's charged" pair (FEE, ION). I've visited ALTOONA to see one of my USAF friends, and SIMP (69D Nitwit) was also good. Other than that, I'll just say that this puzzle, time-wise, was a bit fast for a Sunday, which I usually like to take between 45 and 60 minutes.