Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016, Andrew Kingsley


I've really enjoyed this week of puzzles! There may be some folks out in the blogosphere who have been less thrilled by them, but I've found each one to be a ton of fun to solve, and today's is no exception.

I broke in with 1D: Fibonacci, notably (PISAN). We've noted before in this space how crosswordese is a useful language to know. Weirdly, TTEST is another such example. Probably the NW crosses are the least high quality entries in the puzzle (ENOUNCE, I'm looking at you), but it allows the trio of PINTEREST (gets a B+), INATRANCE, and SUPERFOOD.

Perhaps, the more I look over the puzzle, the more I recognize that it's the smoothness of the fill that made this puzzle enjoyable, rather than the brilliance of any of the entries. 33D: What emo songs may convey (TEENANGST) might be one of the better choices. I'm also interested in the phenomenon of the DROPCAP. The name is quite evocative, and immediately made sense to me, even though I'd never seen it before.

My favorite moment came after I finished the entire puzzle. See, I was working on the NE corner, and had __THERE at 41A: "You don't want to miss it!" So I naturally entered gETHERE, parsing it as "get here!" I had difficulty (as you might imagine) exiting this section into the SE. Working my way around, I came to 41D, and realized it was BASSETS. Thus, I now had BETHERE (correctly), but incorrectly parsed it as "bet here!" Later, I figured it out, and had a good laugh.

The clues include 42A: Bit of bronze (TIN), without any question mark needed. I also really loved 63A: Bought or sold, e.g. (PASTTENSE). I didn't see that coming at all. Otherwise, there wasn't much in the way of misdirection.

Well, I still liked it in retrospect, but perhaps not quite as much.

- Colum


  1. 30:51
    I love Friday puzzles. (Surely you meant INATRANCE above, Colum.) The smoothness thing is the reason, as you mention. I immediately wrote in TAPROOMS at 45A Watering holes, after I entered HETEROS at 27D They're straight (awesome), but changed it to bArROOMS before changing it back. Always stick with your first instinct! I wanted something sports-related with 13D Cup or bowl, but not a plate (CONTAINER), but that didn't slow me down too much. The trivia on CLEOPATRA (58A Only highest-grossing film of the year that lost money) is well-known, so that went right in. Nice that BASSETS crosses ASS right at the "ass" of the basset. I even enjoyed the fresh cluing for the old crosswordeses ORR and STYE. Plus, our old friend THC makes an appearance. Great puzzle, which I attempted to discuss with Sue with little success.