Sunday, May 1, 2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016, Mark Diehl


This took us forever! We just arrived at our rental property in the Finistère, and we solved this over several glasses of wine, cider, and beer, with our friends Carrie and Andrew, who, frankly, were little help, having just arrived from a full day of traveling.

So anyway, we finally finished it! My favorite clue might be 30A: They cast no votes (ANTIS). It had me fooled for quite some time, what with the emphasis on the wrong syllable and all.

32A: Key employer in England? (GAOLER) is tricky, but it doesn't seem quite perfect. And SHOPVAC (34A: Woodworker's device, informally) doesn't really need to have the "informally," I don't think, as the product is actually called a Shop-Vac. And that seems formal enough.

Franny was sorry to come up with TREPAN (9D: Bone-boring tool), since it's so gross. And GLOP (55D: Unappealing bowlful) might as well have been "slop," for all we knew. (of course, AVERAsING wouldn't have been a very good answer for "53A: Doing mean work?"...).

The 4x9 and 3x8 stacks are pretty strong, but we felt that MAGNETOS (37D: Alternators in some internal-combustion engines), 14D: They clean up well (SLEEPERS), and ABIE (54D: "____ Baby" (song from "Hair")) were a bit of a stretch. BUT, it's Saturday, so we can't complain.

1A: Result of a bad trip (FACEPLANT) gets an A. I love the fill, and I love that "flashback" also fits in the same space.

Sorry so cursory. Column will be back tomorrow for more insightful, colorful, and erudite reviews.

Signing off for another month,

- Horace


  1. 47:07 (FWOE)
    Holy cow this was a toughie! I was glad to see through the blogosphere that others thought it was hard also. Solved while I was on the runway to early flight back from Paris, with much help from Hope (she knew ABIE immediately, by the way). The first corner we completed was the SW, where bOnzO didn't help. I had KNEAD and LAURYN, a gimme, and hope got AROAR (yuck) and KAVA.

    Hope also figured out FSHARP, my favorite answer and clue pair. I'd put Flashback in at 1A, but finally figured out it couldn't be right when ATEMPO finally became clear (criminally late, given my musical background). Love AMENHOTEP.

    The SE corner is my favorite. DYSPEPSIA is great. The NE was the final corner to fall, and my error came at LUGAR and MASHERS. I had an E there. Tough tough tough.

  2. DNF
    I worked on this for well over 100 minutes, thinking that was outrageous, but now I see that maybe I should have kept going. Anyway, the SE was not coming to me. I had SAN, AVERAGING and ANGELA, which I think may have been correct, but I don't know and don't care at this point.