Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Wednesday, July 6, 2016, David Woolf


I'm afraid that a lot of my time doing this puzzle was spent trying to make "ThreewaY" work for "26A: Relationship with two other lovers, both of whom consent" (TRIAMORY). I was all excited, and then I was all like, "Huh?" I mean, sure, I understand TRIAMORY, but who has ever said that before? or heard it? or wants to hear it after being amazed that "threeway" got into a puzzle? Oh well. Silly me. Now I just feel like a TNUT!

Anyway... a lot of my time after doing the puzzle was spent trying to figure out what Mr. Woolf meant by "... and a hint to every four-letter answer in this puzzle." I examined a few to see if there were alternate answer possibilities, then I looked around to see if the four-letter combinations appeared in a different way elsewhere in the grid, then I went over to XWORD Info to see what was up! Turns out, I wish I had given it a little more time... each four-letter answer is made up of two state abbreviations! Wow! Suddenly, the puzzle goes from HMM to near SAINTDOM. Well, let's not go crazy - we've still got AAU (43A: Nonpro sports org.) ("Amateur Athletic Union" - really?!?), TEHEE (69A: [Titter]) (two strikes there, one for the missing E and one for the clue), TWI (59D: ____-night doubleheader), ALLA (54D: ____ breve), and a few other oddities.

But for that junk we get the great theme, plus tremendous bonus fill like INGLORIOUS (3D: Causing shame) and SHILLELAGH (32D: Cudgel made from a knotty stick). And HOLLOW, TOLDALIE (42D: Prevaricated), and SNEAKERS (4D: Court tie-ups?) ain't bad either. 1A: Light beam splitter (PRISM) gets a B. Who doesn't like a PRISM?

It's an ambitious theme (that needed an ambitious 16x15 grid!), with some very good fill and some pretty bad glue, but on balance, I give this a thumbs up.

- Horace


  1. 9:24
    I too needed some time after finishing to understand the theme, but I got it after a few minutes. Wow! I'm imagining that some in the crossword blogosphere will be like "meh," but I enjoy some technical wizardry. I wanted to know if all the states are represented! But no, there are only 18 4-letter words, not the 25 necessary. That would have been insane. I think on the whole the theme saves the puzzle from the INGLORIOUS nature of some of the fill. SNEAKERS is my favorite clue, for sure.

    1. Oh. Yeah, TRIAMORY. That's me and my two brothers... literally, you understand. Not in the sense of the clue... I'll stop there.

    2. Oddly, and not in an icky way, that could help me to remember that word the next time around.

  2. 22.45 (FWFE)
    I'm giving this puzzle an enthusiastic thumbs down. The theme was good, but ALLA/CLAVE, ALAIN/LETTS, RAMPAL/SHILLELAGH (even though I should have known the latter in that pair), and TRIAMORY/MIROS are terrible crosses, rife with Naticks. I figured out the theme after around fifteen minutes, but that couldn't save my opinion of the puzzle. HOTWAX is OK, and there is some other good fill, like the WINE/OAKED/DRUNK TRIAMORY, but things like the aforementioned crosses, MOOCOW and SINEWY do this puzzle in.