Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday, June 9, 2016, Damon Gulczynski

8:35 (FWOE)

Hi! Colum here, filling in for Frannie today.

Am I missing something here? There seems to be a veritable paucity of theme here. There's the "hidden" SILENT diagonally from NW to SE; hidden, I say, because the letters are circled. And then there are two accompanying answers, namely [SILENT]PARTNERS and [SILENT]MAJORITY. And that's it, right? I just know that when I finish this blog entry, and go to read other people's reviews, all will be revealed. But I can't figure it out for myself.

So anyway, the rest of the puzzle plays like a pretty decent themeless. 1A: Powder used to combat moisture (TALCUM) is kind of gross, really. I give it, let's say, oh, C-. That feels about right. And I wasn't impressed with the down answers I got right off the bat either. 17A: Pair of big jets? (AISLES) requires some creative reparsing of the clue, which I enjoy.

How many of you entered anNA at 8D: "Downton Abbey" maid (EDNA)? I know I did. Because, Anna, right? Only, not so much as the seasons went on. Like those last two seasons? That storyline was particularly painful.

You know, as I look at more of this puzzle, I'm less convinced it's all that good. I mean, Claude AKINS and NITA Naldi are pretty outdated. Sheriff Lobo? Ran for three seasons from 1979 to 1981. I mean that's a pretty out there clue.

What I did like? HYMNBOOK. That's some nice letters there. 45A: Strong and proud (LEONINE)... I guess that's because a lion is in a pride? EMAJOR is a key I'm fond of. Not my favorite key, perhaps, but it's a good one. Frankly, I'm having a hard time thinking of pieces in E major. The last movement of Mendelssohn's wonderful violin concerto, and the last movement of Tchaikovsky's fifth symphony, which I've never been that fond of. It does go on for a while.

NONBASIC is an odd term. I mean, it's correct, but wouldn't you just say... oh, maybe, acidic? Oh, and FANZINES.

My error came at the crossing of KRONOR and GOO. Stupidly, I entered KRONeR and didn't check the crossing.

Here's hoping the rest of the turn is better.

- Colum


  1. Aha! I knew I'd find out the extra bit. Each of the letters in SILENT is, itself, silent in the across entry it is found in. That's extra clever, and I like it a ton.

  2. Wow. Mind=Blown. I, too, missed that extra bit of theme, and you're right, it changes everything. But is it really the first L in LLAMA that's silent?? I think they both get pronounced when John Cleese talks about them in Spanish in that Python sketch, am I right?

    I like LIT/Wasted, but I have never heard of TORTONI. Shoud I have? And furthermore, are foreign plurals going to be allowed in Huygens' "all plural" puzzle?

    1. I too have never heard of TORTONI. Apparently it's a heavy ice cream with chopped cherries and almonds.

  3. 15:32
    We'll have to see how the construction goes...maybe foreign plurals will be not only allowed, but a necessity. And if I'm not mistaken, Cleese pronounced "LLAMA" with the Spanish "y" sound, as in "Look out! There are yammas!" But said in Spanish. And isn't EMAJOR generally used for popular (rock) songs since it's easier to play on guitars, etc.? I may be wrong, but I seem to remember that being said by my guitar-playing friend. I know he said that sharps on a guitar are easier to play than flats for some reason, even though they seem to me, one that has played piano, to be the same notes, just written different ways. Anyway, excellent puzzle, especially now that I know all of the theme intricacies. I knew the Sheriff Lobo reference right away (almost). I believe I watched, sadly, all three seasons when it was on. And I, too, never heard of TORTONI, but enjoyed its crossing with its sister answer GELATI. WABOT on the Downton Abbey references, so I won't get into that here, so I just waited for the crosses to get EDNA. I didn't like NONBASIC, but loved AISLES. I agree with TALCUM's C-.