Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016, Julie Bérubé


Nice puzzle today. As I completed the grid, I perceived a fair amount of what might be termed "foreign" fill, if that didn't make it sound vaguely negative. :) I mean entries such as NURMI, GOBI, HUN, TAMALE, and PESTO. But, in the new world where everything is global, maybe it's all just LINGUA franca now.

I am not normally a fan of puzzles with circled letters, but I thought today's circled result (SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS) added a little extra SASSY fun to an already well-formed puzzle.

I liked 44D. Way up or down (STAIRS) - I mis-parsed this clue with "Way" meaning extremely. I always like it when I have to rethink a first impression to get the right answer. Speaking of mis-parsing, it took me longer than it should have to figure out why AVES was correct at 49D. I kept reading it as if it were an ungainly plural of the Latin Ave. I guess all the foreign material in the puzzle had gone to my head. :) And P.s., speaking of ungainly plurals, 62A. Correspondent's afterthoughts, briefly (PSS) is a little awkward. P.p.s. I did like the clue for another three, 56D. Promising letters, IOU. Ho ho!

I was happy to see 63A. L'eggs shade (TAUPE) more for the clue than for the answer. Nothing beats a great pair of L'eggs. The l' gives it a little overseas flair, n'est ce pas?

Surprise bonus: no ONEL today!

BASTA così.

~ Frannie.


  1. 12:45

    Excellent review today, Frannie.

    I loved this puzzle. It's an outstanding debut for Ms. Bérubé. When I was little, I memorized the "backwards" pronunciation that they use in the movie - "Dociousaliexpeisticfragicalirupus" which is neither the word spelled backward, nor "saying it backwards" as is claimed in the movie, but that's going a bit too far, don't you think?

    I enjoyed the inclusion of ARTEMIS (does she count as foreign?), the clue "Denouement" (also foreign) for LASTACT, and for some strange reason, I like seeing ILLINOIS in there, too. I kind of hope that Ms. Bérubé is from there.

  2. 4:00
    I figured out the theme when I put SCALIA in. Thus, the rest of the puzzle went quickly, too quickly, IMO. It's a very nice puzzle to be sure, but it would have been harder without the circles. Anyway, I liked ARTEMIS as well, and LINGUA. This is the second time recently we've had OCTET(S) clued with jazz. How often does that actually happen, I wonder, that a combo is made up of eight people?

  3. 8:52
    I entered all of the circle letters on seeing the CALI of SCALIA, also (I had already entered SUPERFOOD). All-in-all, I enjoyed this puzzle, despite all of the foreign entries. Nice that TSE had nothing to do with the fly in this puzzle. SPATOUT...excellent. AQUAS, not so much. EXPIATES is a nice word.

  4. I got the theme after SUPERFOOD and FRAGILE (followed by a quick trip over to SCALIA to confirm my hunch). I knew I wasn't out of the woods, however, because I never can remember how to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (I mean, I can get into useless knowledge as much as the next nerd, but this has never risen to the top of things I pay attention to, which I suppose is one reason I'll never be a great crossword solver —constructors just can't resist movies). Sure enough, I got tripped up on HOLoSTIC (which granted was inattention since I do know the word HOLISTIC) which contributed to my problem of not knowing MANCINI or NURMI, for a 3 letter DNF (by the way, what’s a CAMI?).

    On a more positive note, really liked the clue for LENT and enjoyed the nautical MAINSAIL (although I always thought of rigging as lines and the like rather than sails) and continuing the nautical topic SAULT (although I suppose that one might be tough if you weren't born in Michigan). And I guess a ”treat” doesn't have to be sweet if it can be a nice hot steaming TAMALE.

    An enjoyable puzzle, even if a bit tougher than I thought when I saw the theme.