Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday, March 25, 2016, Ian Livengood

10:11 (FWOE)

Isn't it great when you solve a puzzle and realize you had fun the whole time? It's not so fast to be thoughtless, nor is it so hard that you spend time just staring at blank space. The clues are funny or challenging, and the answers are interesting.

I've come to expect this sort of puzzle from Mr. Livengood. Every long answer is topnotch, and the corners are filled with interesting stuff. There are a few short answers I could do without, but very few.

I stuck LES in at 6D, but nothing else came out of the NW, so I moved on. I guessed LOPS and HATS, which then led to 19D: Supposed morning remedy (HAIROFTHEDOG) off that H. The whole middle of the puzzle opened up quickly from that.

35A FTW.

I also enjoyed 40A: Knee jerk, e.g. (REFLEX) - right up my alley. HOUSED got me into the SE, where the full name ABUDHABI was inferable from crosses. I like 37A: A, B or C, but not X, Y or Z (VITAMIN). MOA is the low point of the puzzle. Never heard of it, but all the letters were easily gotten from the crossings. I love JACKLEMMON and his full name in the grid.

My mistake came at the crossing of WEREON and POL. I had an I there, which made no sense in either direction, so a true error. 17A: Slice from a book? (PAPERCUT) - yes. Very excellent. 12D: Chill in bed? (AGUE) - also great, using the expected slang when what's needed is the literal meaning.

STATESAVENUE is great. I always thought of these properties in Monopoly as purple, not pink. But when I look on Google Images, they certainly look pink now.

I moved into the SW, with the entirely unexpected term HATERADE. Completely unheard of for me, but I love it. Even better is 60A: Schiller work set to music by Beethoven (ODETOJOY). "An die Freude" in the original German. And then HASHTAG to complete an excellent triplet.

I ended up in the NW. 4D: Some blonds (PALEALES) is very nice misleading cluing. 1A: Far and away one's favorite writer? (PENPAL) gets an B+. I like the clue, it's just a little tortured.

So nice.

- Colum


  1. 30:48
    Too bad that the Beethoven clue couldn't have been saved for Saturday (the 189th anniversary of the master's death), but it's always nice to have anything related to him on any day. Plus, CELLOS makes an appearance. I had nETS at 13D for a bit, but then SLOWJAM came in, correcting that. PAPERCUT is terrible...terrible. Sue and I were just next door to ABUDHABI twice, in Doha, Qatar. HAIROFTHEDOG is excellent, and may I mention that I saw HANSOLO in the new "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" on the way home from Bali and quite enjoyed his role, and the movie in general. BONG is getting pretty bold with the drug clues. I liked all of the double letters in the SE with EBBS, ELLE, TEEN, PEBBLE and SHEET. Good Friday puzzle (literally!).

  2. 15:09
    Nice joke about Good Friday, Huygens. Hah!

    Loved this puzzle. PAPERCUT is awesomely awful. HATERADE. HANSOLO, HAIROFTHEDOG... I know it's all been said, but it's all so good! I said hi to Ian Livengood last year at the tournament, hopefully he'll be there again this year and I can tell him how much I enjoyed this one in person!

    Tried "pipe" for BONG (yes, shocking!), loved LINERNOTES, and I'm pretty sure I learned MOA from the "B.C." comic strip. Or maybe it was something else...