Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2016, Tony Orbach


A much slower solve than usual for a Wednesday. Possibly because I started this last night when quite TIPSY, and possibly because of a number of unexpected items in the fill. I don't particularly love OHOH (8D: "Call on me! I know this!"), ENVIRO (4D: Green person, for short) (never heard this, and I'm a green person), LACEINTO (9D: Give an earful) (not familiar with this term, either), or NEOS (36A: Modernists, informally) (yuck). And then there's more than a smattering of INRE, ETSEQ, AERIE, CGI, SDI, AMPM, NALA, GAEA, TAI, APR, NAEVIN, AND REN. All of which, NATCH, put me in something of an UGLY frame of mind.

But then there are such lovely entries as SCHERZO (23A: Lively movement), SNUCKUPON (11D: Caught unawares), ONEOFF (25D: Something not repeated), and ERUCT (51D: Burp). And I know some in my family will very much enjoy seeing GETFUZZY (39D: Comic strip featuring Satchel Pooch and Bucky Katt) in the grid.

As for the theme - changing the ends of familiar phrases so that they end up ending with "ET," and cluing them wackily - I usually like wackiness, but something just seems a little off with these. For starters, I don't like that the pronunciation of the end of "Vanity Fair" changes when made into "ferret." In all of the others, the pronunciation stays the same. But even with those I had problems. Is MOUNTAINDUET a genre? I know it's a play on "Mountain Dew," and I know "Dueling Banjos" is a duet…  but is "mountain" a genre? I just don't get it.

I guess this one wasn't for me. Onward to The Turn!

- Horace

p.s. 1A: "Oh, yeah …, " in a text (BTW) - F.


  1. 32:36
    Very slow for a Wednesday, with the NW giving the most trouble. TELEVISIONCRUET got me because I was thinking of oil rigs or platforms or tankers; and I was thinking of an agora for 1D Ancient Roman meeting places, but I knew that HOSNI was solid; and I wanted allEgrO instead of SCHERZO, even though an allegro isn't a movement, it's a tempo. So that whole corner ate up at least fifteen minutes. The rest was relatively fast, although working out ___RACQUET instead of trying to stretch "racket" out somehow was a minor slowdown in the SE (I don't play tennis). I've seen ERUCT before, but was thinking EgesT briefly until I got the crosses, especially CGI, which I knew. LIEGE is nice as was ONEOFF. Never heard of a ZUNI. Lots not to like in this grid, I agree. But an F for BTW? What if something even worse comes along now?

  2. Tough for a Wednesday for sure. Bonus points for VANITY FERRET though!

  3. You know, I've been thinking that maybe ETSEQ could work as a revealer of sorts. It's usually short for "et sequentia," meaning "and the following," or something very similar. But if you change it to "et sequitur" it can be read as "'ET' follows", which would be perfect for this theme!

    That actually makes me like this puzzle better.

    And Howard, many reviewers seemed to like the VANITY FERRET. Maybe not everyone pronounces those two differently - fair and ferret. And sure, the idea is absurd, and you're right - bonus points should be awarded. :)

    1. Tricky thing with pronunciation themes is the variance that the difference in regional accents makes.
      For me, FAIR and FERRET are different enough sounding to be a shaky theme, but I didn't really care, because ferrets.