Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016, Alex Bajcz


Horace here, coming to you live and direct from Utrecht, The Netherlands!

The theme today is "'ST' changes to 'D'," resulting in new phrases clued to make sense. "19A: Romantic night in Kentucky?" is answered with BLUEGRASSDATE, and "41A: Counterfeit Dodge?" is FALSEDART. There are four across and two down, which I like.

What I don't like is MASSAGER (17A: One rubbing you the right way?). "Masseuse" fits in the same spot and is quite a bit more common a term. And can we talk for a minute about SKYEY (25D: Brilliantly blue)? I find that a bit startling. The rest of the iffy stuff (ISH, ELHI, ETTE, UTE, SYSTS...) I am a bit more used to.

I like much of the other (not obviously bad, if you know what I mean) non-theme fill, and I enjoyed many of the clues. 24D: Lengthening shadow? (BEARD), 51A: "I thought you had my back!" (ETTU), and 34D: Taken for a fool (PLAYED), for example.

There were several names I was not familiar with - TBOONE (60A: Pickens ...), HERSHEL (7D: ____ Greene...), ARI (36A: Gold ...), OPRAH (9D: TV personality...) (KIDDING!). And I guess I was only luke-warm on the theme. Maybe it's just that I've been up for something like 36 hours in a row, but I'm giving this a so-so and then we're going out for some traditional Dutch fries and a beer.

Over and out.

- Horace

p.s. 1A: Collateral, of a sort (LIEN) - B. Solid.


  1. 36:52
    Glad you made it safely. Hopefully, no tsunamis while you're there. I liked the theme OK, but just OK. SKYEY was one of the most terrible answers I've ever seen, and I solve the Webster Times crossword every week. I had MASSeuse in at first, slowing me down slightly. However, I had all but the SW filled in in 19:48. TBOONE, and a few of its crosses just took forever. YEOMEN shouldn't have taken so long, but it did, and I had the O, T and C of OILTYCOON, but just couldn't see it, for the longest time. SINEW...gross, and I don't know about "hand LENS" either. I enjoyed the absurdity of 34A "Come on, Doris"? (PLEASEDAY).

  2. 13:13
    I love BLUEGRASSDATE. None of the other theme answers match up. I snorted out loud when I came across SKYEY. I mean, really? I can't believe you didn't reference YEOMEN! My favorite of all of them. Probably followed by Ruddigore.

  3. 13:12 F.W.O.E
    Yes, our error was SKYEY. We had SKYlY, which, frankly makes more sense. Except, no, it doesn't, because sky blue is NOT a brilliant blue. It is a soft blue. I agree with Huygens that it is likely to be the worst answer I've ever seen in the NYT puzzle.