Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016, Andrew J. Ries

6:29 (FWOE)

Everybody knows KARAT is spelled with a K. When it's referring to gold, that is. Why I chose to spell it with a C will be a mystery forevermore.

Four people with the first name Johnny, with their last name used in a standard phrase. I get the idea, but how does JOHNNYONTHESPOT refer to this? I was looking for places where "Johnny" could be hidden in a black square. That fits better. That being said, the four individuals are all well known, if a little outdated. When you google the name, first up is Johnny Depp, followed by Johnny Manziel (yuck), and then Johnny Cash. So that's one anyway. Johnny Rotten was born John Lydon, but is best known by his stage name.

There are some nice entries in the fill. ONSLAUGHT is excellent, as is 6D: Spanish steps? (FANDANGO), with a nice reference to Rome (ROMA?) there. A hidden capital redeems 14A: Sessions, e.g.: Abbr. (SEN). I also like the clue for 30A: Class with many unknowns: Abbr. (ALG). It's just too bad there had to be so many Abbrs. 37D: Bad name for an anger management counselor? (STU): hah!

1A: Start of a Latin 101 conjugation (AMO): D. Okay, I like Latin as much as any of us, I think. But to start a puzzle off with this sort of ancient (see what I did there?) crosswordese doesn't make us look forward to the remainder. And indeed, there is a lot of crosswordese: AJA (fine album), EDINA (there was a shocking Minneapolis suburb in the Sunday puzzle: Eagan), ADLAI, AMATI, SEGER.

I thought it was funny that UTURN almost made the full turn, crossing URN. You could read it either direction and get the same answer.

I didn't love it.

- Colum


  1. Turns out the "spot" is the fact that each last name sits on top of the letters AD, as in a television commercial/spot. Definitely needed someone to explicate that for me.

  2. 5:36

    Wow, I never, ever would have seen that they all sit atop AD. Sheesh! What I love more, though, is what you pointed out about UTURN. Hah!

    AMO, yeah... and you know I love Latin too! And I was not familiar with the other ancient clue - JAFFA.

    Kind of liked DUSKY, TEPID, TWISTTOP, and, of course, ONSLAUGHT. Kind of didn't like TRI, ADEE, ATTA, CEE, and KOD.

    Frankly, I would have been fine with the theme being just famous Johnnys. The AD thing probably just forced a lot of this less-than-great fill.

    1. I completely agree. Although the four famous Johnnys wouldn't have been much to write home about either.

  3. 15:47
    Decent theme. I starred a few items: OPEDPIECE (35D Leaning column), NARC (39D Traffic cop, for short?), ARARAT (49D Genesis landing site) and EARN (51D Get through hard work). Great cluing for those, I thought. I'd not have "spotted" the AD thing; that's pretty good.