Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday, June 3, 2016, Josh Knapp


This was, in some ways, a typical Friday puzzle for me. I went once across and down, got about 5 answers that I was relatively confident about, and then was sure I was doomed never to finish it. But, 21 minutes and 26 seconds later, I did finish it. I broke into the puzzle in the north east quadrant with the downs SAM, CLAP, ACRES, and STAINLESS. After that, things seemed to fall in a clockwise direction. I did get hung up briefly at the end, in the north west - I had completely forgotten about Mr. SCAGGS, and was happy in my oblivion, so I'm giving today's 1A. Singer with the 1977 hit "Lido Shuffle" a B. Another problem for me in that corner: no archivist I know would ever use GLUE - and I know a lot of archivists. Maybe Mr. Knapp meant scrapbooker? We'll never know.

I liked the shape of the puzzle with the groups of long answers along the sides and across the middle. LOATHSOME, SCOFFLAWS, and HONORARIA fill the puzzle quite ELEGANTLY, dontcha think? There were only two three-letter answers (TIC and MEH) and I like them both. They have the advantage of being known, usable words, as opposed to some of the poor tri-filling (trifling) answers you get in some puzzles. On the other hand, in what circumstances would a person say or use COEVAL (31D. Agemate)? Maybe it's prominent in the medical community and our esteemed co-author Dr. Amory can explain.

Another nice feature of the puzzle, IMHO, are the "SC" pair of words in the two top answers and the matching "Y"s at the bottom.

There are lots of other great words in this puzzle: CAVEAT, APERCU, SINEW, and CRACKPOT. It's one of the things that makes doing the NYTXWP so fun. I mean, where else can you go from COLONELSANDERS to Julius PETRI without the stomach upset? :)

~ Frannie


  1. 15:34
    Definitely hard puzzle, especially considering it's "only" 14x15 in size! I wanted COhort, and COEVAL was way down on my list. So many great words in this puzzle. Hope and I like to joke about the PTCRUISER that it was the car my mother-in-law kept on saying she wanted. That was before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but, I think, after it had already started. Love OLDHICKORY, hate the man. He should come off the $20 bill well before A. Ham. should come off the $10. Good clues for GUNCONTROL and CABOOSE. All around a winner.

  2. 14:14
    Indeed, an audible, "oh, that's awful" and much figurative gnashing of teeth from the (nationally known and respected, I might point out) archivist here.

    SCAGGS was a gimme. CAPULET was a gimme. AVENUE_ was pretty much a gimme. MERCEDES, a gimme. We had Yolk for a little while slowing us down, but then the archivist remembered Katharine GRAHAM and I our most recent Halloween costume. You get the idea.

    I don't share Colum's enthusiasm for the GUNCONTROL clue: "Something a politician proposes that takes heat?" I mean, I get it, but NO SERIOUS POLITICIAN IN THIS COUNTRY IS TALKING ABOUT TAKING GUNS AWAY! It's a canard of the right calculated to stoke fear of loss of personal freedoms.

  3. 20:17
    Don't touch my gun, Fob. This ran like a typical Friday for me. I enjoy seeing the entire SHERLOCKHOLMES (the complete collection of which I'm in the middle of reading at present), and COLONELSANDERS, although representing somewhere I'll never again patronize, is great to see. CAPULET went in right away, but I needed a couple of crosses for SCAGGS. PETRI: fantastic, as is ONELOVE. CRACKPOT, SUCROSE...there's just too much greatness here to mention.