Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016, Natan Last, Finn Vigeland and J.A.S.A. Crossword Class


These J.A.S.A. crosswords are often interesting, I find, and this follows the pattern. The RINGCYCLE (59A: Wagner work ... or a possible title for this puzzle) was pretty well done, I thought. The only one that didn't seem quite right was the VENNDIAGRAM (22A: Place to find two Os), because I think of those as "circles," not "rings." The rest, though, are definitely rings, as evidenced by 30D: A O doesn't have one (END). If they had wanted the letter O, the clue would have read "An O ..." The theme's coda, if you will, of 64A: It's said at the exchange of Os (IDO) was a cute way of jazzing up a stock bit of crosswordese.

The two long non-theme answers are quite good too - PATCHOULI (13A: Scent in incense and insect repellents), reminds me of my old college roommate, Gregor. Who knew the stuff was used in repellents?! Also, GETOVERIT (62A: "Oh, stop moping!") is a nice bit of colloquialism.

1A: Attracted (DREW) gets a solid B. Nothing wrong with it, just not terribly exciting either. BOOYAH (8D: "How do you like dem apples?!") gets kind of an odd clue, but after thinking about it, I can't really complain, because I coudn't think of a better way to clue it. Maybe "Oh yeah!," but that's too similar. I enjoyed the word itself, though, as well as entries like OBSESS (14D: Lose sleep (over)) and GENIAL (23D: Nice) (Nice follow-up to "22D: You, in Nice" (VOUS)).

Some unusual proper names (MOIRA, LEONI), products (YUBAN, UGLI), and stock crossword fodder (ERIE, TAU, ACRE) providing the glue today, but there's nothing too egregious. Overall, I'll give it a thumbs up!

- Horace


  1. Perhaps I was just in a good mood, but solving this was a delight for me. I mean, who can dislike OMNIA vincit amor or WHO’s on first?. A clue like “Mexican shekels” isn't all that different from what we usually get, but there's just a certain offbeat charm in combining two familiar concepts in a new way. SINEW, ROMAN (as clued), can't even list all the clues/answers that brought a smile to my face. Oh, and *this* is how to do theme-dense. Six long(ish) themers, but then you figure out how to work in a few more in the fill you would have written anyway: IDO, END. My time was very fast for a Wednesday, but I just take that to mean that a puzzle doesn't have to be hard (or easy, for that matter) to be enjoyable.

  2. 7:18
    I enjoyed this very much as well. I actually think of VENNDIAGRAMs as having three circles, but I know that two circle diagrams are acceptable as well. AUDIDEALER is fine, although I wanted AUDIsymbol or some such as being more precise. How about CPSNOW for a tough get? All the crosses were fair, so not too bad. BTW, he wrote a biography of Anthony Trollope, which might interest Frannie, in any case.