Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016, Joel Fagliano


I made four mistakes in this grid, all in a little block in the right center. Early on, I guessed "ArtS" for 35A: Affectation (AIRS) (better), and when I came to my last couple squares - the first two of 38A: Veterinarian's branch of sci., I couldn't think of anything but "biOL," so I put that in. It took me a minute or two to realize that both words were wrong, but it really shouldn't have, because even though I didn't know IBIZA (28D: One of the Balearic Islands) off the clue, I should have known that IBrbA wasn't right. Same with TUtiW... So, in short, a DNF.

Aside from all that, the theme didn't really do much for me. Sure, I use Amazon - who hasn't? - but I've never visited POLITICO or GAWKER, and I've never even heard of a Web site called VULTURE. So the wacky cluing that I usually love so much was diminished today by my own ignorance. I hope that this kind of thing brings in the young folks, but for me, the one doing the rating today, the theme fell flat. I'm giving it a C-.

1A: Squelch (STIFLE), on the other hand, I'm giving a B+. Both clue and answer are unusual and interesting.

I liked seeing AUNTIEEM  (17A: Neighbor of Miss Gulch), I loved seeing POETICS (11D: Aristotle work that began literary theory), and CREAMPIE (56A: Boston specialty) was fun and local. LECTERN (39D: Stand taken by one making a speech) was cutely clued, but RHEUMY (42D: Watery, as eyes) is gross. That's the way it was today - kind of up and down. Still, I didn't hate it or anything. Thumbs up. Just not way up.

- Horace


  1. DNF
    Sign me up for a DNF, but for a different reason: the NW was almost completely ungettable for me. If I'd have known TOOMEY and LOUNGE, maybe. FONZ is a great answer to 4D Epitome of cool, with "the". Certainly much better than my "bomb" which led to lots of trouble up there. After an hour, it just wasn't happening, so I called it. I did, however, star something today: 20A Mount that's a poker term when read backward (ETNA) because I was misdirected to thinking of a type of horse. Anyway, I agree, not great, but OK, especially given the three TV characters of old and the two song references (VOLARE and COPA). Could we include VAYA with those two?

  2. 8:01
    Wow! Tough one for you guys. I had FONZ as my first entry, and got LOUNGE off of that, after running through just about every other room on the Clue board. This is an extremely broken up grid, which I don't appreciate. No flow, especially if, like me, you don't get the theme at all until the whole puzzle is completed. Fortunately Hope know MRROPER (and I liked that the RR of that answer is just above the EE of AUNTIEEM). I did not know IBIZA without the crosses, but I guessed AIRS. I would have preferred ZOOL to be clued with a Ghostbusters reference, only there it's spelled Zuul. Ah well. I agree that the theme leaves something to be desired, but the fill has a lot of good stuff.