Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday, July 8, 2016, Barry C. Silk


My first pass through the clues yielded very little today, and every time I got an answer it surprised me a little that I had actually figured it out, but eventually clues that at first seemed completely opaque suddenly made perfect sense. In short, it was just like a puzzle ought to be.

I was at a party last night where people, when I asked if they did the NYT crossword, said that it was too hard. I've known these people for a long time and I know that they're not idiots. I think that if they just gave it a little time, that they could get through most crosswords. But no, they quickly recoil from the idea. What makes someone enjoy puzzles and another not? It's a puzzle! And one that's too hard for me to solve. :)

Anywho... let's get down to business. Lots of good fill today with a minimum amount of glue. Just as we have come to expect from Mr. Silk. I enjoyed the paired Civil War battle sites MANASSAS and ANTIETAM, and the opening and closing pair of BLACKFRIDAY and CYBERMONDAY was also nice. Another pair was the two eponyms TASMAN and REESE both of which were unknown to me, but inferable with a few crosses. The World of Warcraft pair (HAG and IMP) were also unknown to me, but again, they seemed plausible enough.

I loved the clues for SUBLET (31A: Release?), WINESTEWARD (59A: Port authority?), ATBAT (25D: Single chance?), and ANDREADORIA (62A: Name that went down in history?), question marks and all. One clue that didn't have a question mark, and consequently took me quite a long time to figure out, was 27D: Spots for air traffic controllers (RADARBLIPS). Hah!

Some bits of glue like WAC (59D: New Mexico State's athletic grp.), RENA (45A: 1995 Emmy winner Sofer), MSG (22A: Liberty's home, for short). Who or what are the Liberty? And what's DOS (63A: Buns, for example)? I don't get that one. [addendum: I finally figured out that DOS is short for "hairdos."]

Overall, though, a very good Friday.

- Horace


  1. ~25 minutes (untimed)
    I went through all of the acrosses at first and didn't enter one thing, but, as Horace mentions, one answer after the other started to fall in good order. I agree that this puzzle had very little junk. How about TRANSEPTS making an appearance again so soon (although it was in a clue yesterday, not an answer)? Enjoyed the CAT/GATOS pairing, and SAWYER. The answer to 44A Dutch oven, e.g., could have been a bit grosser, but I'm glad it was POT. I thought that the BLACKFRIDAY/CYBERMONDAY pairing is a bit off, since it's JULY!, but that's OK. Fun Friday...what, you never heard of Mr. REESE's Pieces? Hasn't he been in puzzles before? And what of Mr. TASMAN's Devils?

  2. 8:42
    I broke in immediately with 1D (BTWO) and had the NW corner filled in pretty quickly. MANASSAS was a nice way to move into the SW, but RADARBLIPS eluded me, especially since I went with the obvious choice for World of Warcraft, namely "orc". The SE corner is lovely, all three answers in the stack being top quality. I loved WINESTEWARD, although I got caught up on thinking about "sommelier", which didn't fit at all. Love this puzzle.

    Interesting question about why some people like puzzles, or even more specifically, tough puzzles more than other people. My mother (who reads this blog) enjoys her double crostic puzzles more than any other kind, which I find impossible to get through!

  3. 17:56 FWOE
    The Liberty are the WNBA team from New York and they play at Madison Square Garden.