Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016, Zhouqin Burnikel

6:48 (FWOE)

Having put in AVA at 1A (DuVernay who directed "Selma", gets a B+ for referencing an African-American female director and a great movie), I immediately fell for the trap of putting in Verizon, which is really not an "Internet-based phone provider" (VONAGE). Sometimes when I have entered something incorrectly, I have to move away entirely before I can see the correct entries.

My error came at the crossing of 6D: Crystal ____ (METH) and 21A: "As if!" (HAH), where I had put nAH and never came back to check it. Oh well. That's the bad stuff out of the way.

This is an odd and oddly satisfying theme today, befitting a Wednesday. The three 15-letter answers are unrelated to each other, but each is crossed by a pun that plays on the content of letters in that answer. Thus 4D: What 17-Across has, phonetically (FORESEES) is pointing out the 4 Cs found in ANTARCTICCIRCLE.

Each 15-letter answer is a solid one, and all three puns work fine, although FORTIES doesn't exactly sound the same to me as "four Ts". THATSAMOOTPOINT though. I enjoyed it.

Some really nice cluing in the fill also helped my good spirits. 25A: Daniel who created Friday (DEFOE) is very nice, especially without a question mark. Even better is 34D: Worrisome call at home (STRIKETWO). I love that sort of thing!

I'm not convinced by a single ANTLER and by multiple TESLAS. Kind of funny to have METH and Breaking Bad actress RHEA Seehorn in the same grid.

That's me, over and OORT.

- Colum


  1. 11:52

    Hah! Nice review. I also very much enjoyed both clue examples you cite. And the three fifteens are all quite good, but I the pun crosses kind of left me cold. I mean, it's interesting-ish, and I suppose they have to have a theme, but, well…

    Loved PENITENT, MENACES, ENDIVE, and the recently-oft-seen OCELOT. And the one-l LAMA made me laugh, even though it took me quite a while to get. I wish it had been clued with a Nash reference!

  2. 11:32
    We haven't seen DEFOE in a while. I enjoyed the puns well enough, and the associated phrases. When I read the first pun clue, though, I thought that ET59 would probably know the answers better than I. I'm glad it worked out like it did. I may be visiting the ANTARCTICCIRCLE in December of 2021 for a total solar eclipse tour...we'll see. I'm a bit worried about the Drake Passage; I hear it can be a bit rough. Too much OCELOT recently, but I guess with EEL and AHI in the SAME grid, we can't complain too much about that one. KESHA is timely since she's been embroiled in a current controversy. STREETROD is a bit of a stretch, isn't it?