Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Tom McCoy


A fun theme today of taking a common phrase that ends with a three-letter word, breaking that last word into letters, and then re-cluing to add wackiness. And as you know well, Dear Reader, we here at Horace and Frannie and Colum love wackiness. My favorite is "52A: Example of bad parenting?" (MAMMAMIA), but PICKMEUPS (66A: Cry from an eager applicant for a delivery job?) isn't bad either.

So the theme is a plus, what about the fill? Well, also a plus. We've got some very nice long down material in ASYMMETRY (34D: Difference between two sides) and GRAVEPERIL (8D: Serious danger). MODERNDAY (11D: Characteristic of the present) and SWEETIEPIE (30D: Honeybunch) are also good, but seem slightly odd because they, too, have three-letter last words that are not made into theme material. Not a deal-breaker, because they are Down answers, after all, but still just a little odd. And speaking of Down answers, do you think that the clue for ASICS (53D: Shoe brand that sounds like a letter and a number) was influenced by the theme, too? Thinking about breaking words up into parts? I think it's possible.

Overall I very much enjoyed this Wednesday puzzle. Entries like UMAMI (12D: Savory sensation), ROMCOM (4D: "Sleepless in Seattle," for one), and LITHE (63A: Limber), put me in a good mood. I even chuckled at ATILT (54D: With lance in hand), which, if the theme had been less funny and the rest of the fill less good, might have annoyed me instead. Not today. Thumbs up!

- Horace


  1. 6:02
    There was a period during the solving of this puzzle that I felt certain I wouldn't like it. It might have been the two anagrams of "D, E, A, N, S". Or the Sarah PALIN reference. Or even the ATILT and ATOP. But the theme answers made me smile, especially LETERRIP. That's just over the top wacky.

    On another note, how many people are actually solving the puzzle in pencil, let alone INPEN, any more?

  2. Agree about the odd, "D E A N S" clues.

    And whether we do it daily or not, solving "in ink" (which is what I had first) is one of life's simple joys, isn't it?

    Also, I forgot to rate 1A: What might be used with a "Giddy-up!" (SPUR). I'm giving that an A. I had "crop" originally, but SPUR is better, since I'm fairly sure cowboys never used crops.