Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016, Gordon Johnson


Two early puzzles this week of higher than typical quality. I am impressed by this effort: very smooth fill with another fairly dense level of theme answers. I didn't expect that the two long down answers were going to be part of the theme also.

So, the scientists among us will certainly enjoy this STATESOFMATTER theme. The classic trio of ice, water, and steam are represented in three solid answers, and as a bonus, their three states are given at 52A (SOLIDLIQUIDGAS).

There are two very nice 9-letter nonthematic answers at 17A: Nut from Hawaii (MACADAMIA), which we very much enjoyed on our honeymoon, nearly twenty years ago (!), and at 60A: Bursting with joy (EBULLIENT). Some very nice 6-letter answers are scattered throughout as well, including DEBARK, AWEIGH, and SAILED, a nice trio of boating answers to go along with STEAMBOATS. I also enjoyed JESTER, HECKLE, and RAQUEL for their Scrabble letters.

REBOIL is acceptable sort of. EMIR and PASHA in the same puzzle also. ALCOA is very crosswordish. Is chili really ZESTY? Seems not quite apt.

1A: Tori who sang "Cornflake Girl" (AMOS) - I've always been a fan of her music from the 90s. I have not kept up with her at all since then. I'll give her a B+ for her connection to Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors, but downgrade it to a B for that particular song reference. I would have preferred a reference to "Precious Things".

Thumbs up from this point of view.

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. 5:03 (PSYCH!)
    Thumbs up from here, too. I loved the theme, and how "overall" it was. I always like when a weekday theme runs both Across and Down.

    You've hit the high points. I'm not quite sure I agree with ENAMI. I've never heard that before, which doesn't necessarily mean it isn't true... I'll have to check with Frannie. I did, however, enjoy NAIF.

    My favorite clue/answer is 10D: ____ Bath (prank call name) - ANITA. Quite unexpected and hilarious.