Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sunday, July 3, 2016, Samuel A. Donaldson


Some funny theme material today - STRAWMANSION (49A: First home of the three rich little pigs?) ("Straw man" + "shun" sound) is quite good, and I also like BASETENSION (105A: What an overbearing sergeant causes?) (Are there some sergeants that aren't overbearing?), but DIRTPORTION (32A: Very, very top of the earth's crust?) requires a change in the pronunciation of "poor." At least it does for me, anyway. The theme answers run both Across and Down, which is always good, but for some of them, we have to put up with things like AISLED (97A: Like supermarkets, theaters and planes), and little known characters like ENDY (6D: Onetime Expos/Mets outfielder Ch├ívez), ALBEN (74A: ____ Barkley, Truman's vice president), and ROSSANO (93D: "South Pacific" star ____ Brazzi). Still, overall I'd say the theme is a good one.

1A: Carol opening (ADESTE) is about a C+, I'd say. Not bad, and it gets bonus points for being Latin, but it's kind of crosswordesy.

The fill is pretty clean overall, with some choice entries. ABSCISSA (7D: X-coordinate) is a ten-cent word, DUMPIER (16D: More run-down) brought a smile, and I liked TIMESINK (89D: Internet surfing, often) and NOTUPTOIT (12D: Too tired for the task, say). And how about BEAV and PORNO being side by side?

Overall, I'm giving it a thumbs up.

- Horace


  1. Come on! By far the best themer is TRICKYDICTION. That is crossword gold right there. And how great is the Ali quote, which I hadn't previously heard? Love how Donaldson went the extra mile to clue the plebian TRIO "Donald Duck's nephews, e.g." Good stuff. RATON for "Sing about" is decent, I guess; but I was really hoping for "carol." So, "Will work" seems to be referring to George Will, correct? That's pretty subtle. And, boy, the man goes deep into the 70s for ONAROPE. It brought a smile to my face, though. As does always PORNO. That is, indeed, quite the line with BEAV. I agree about DIRTPORTION, but it's still better than the totally forced BONUSTRACTION. That answer just doesn't work for the clue. "Proportionate" should have been toSCALE. I too give it a thumbs up, however. I greatly enjoyed the solve. Excellent title too!

  2. The clue for PORNO is great, too (68A Raw footage?). ZUNIS took all of the crosses; I had ZU___ and kept thinking "Zulus" but I know enough to know there is a difference between Africa and New Mexico. BASETENSION is obviously my favorite theme answer but I have to agree with ET59 about TRICKYDICTION. ANNULI is a nice word not heard too often. Maybe Kris knows that one.

  3. I'm chiming in just to agree with ET59 as outlined below:
    TRICKYDICTION was the best theme answer.
    SoapONAROPE also brought me back to the 70s, but I happened to mention it to CA, who I saw over the weekend, and he said they still make it and that he received some as a gift. Who knew?
    "Proportionate" definitely should have been toSCALE.

    And with Huygens:
    68A Raw footage? is a great clue for PORNO.

  4. For a while I had atSCALE, which I would also have preferred.