Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016, Sam Trabucco


Traveling sucks. Sorry to have to be a downer, but I'm stuck in a stupid hotel at Dulles Airport because delays due to thunderstorms made me miss my connection. Gah.

In other news, I have Cake By The Ocean by DNCE running through my head because of endless ads for The Voice during NBC's Olympics broadcast. Why have so few companies purchased spots during these games? I feel like I've seen the same five over and over again. I think I hate Chevy now.

Oh, right. There's a puzzle today, and it's a smashing good one, in my books. The theme is one of those where each phrase's first word can be placed in front of another shared word to make four new phrases. But there's an excellent revealer to bring it all together in HEADSWILLROLL. Drum roll, please...

All four theme answers are solid phrases with a down home feel to them. Who doesn't eat DRUMSTICKS in their LOGCABIN while watching a BARRELRACE on the tube while the kids are on one of their EGGHUNTS in the woods out back? Amirite, ladies? METOO.

I thought the fill was definitely above average. Two very nice long down answers in FAMILYTREE and ENDOFSTORY. I have to admit I was a little nervous starting out, though, with 1A: Droop (SAG), which I give a D+ (and was my first entry in the puzzle as well), and the strange looking STELMO leading down. But the puzzle recovered nicely with AEGEAN and GAGGLE.

Some nice clues saved the shorter answers, including 5D: What may help you make your move? (VAN) and 11D: "____ on a Grecian Urn" (ODE). References to Keats always help. I'm also inordinately fond of BLTS, and, to a lesser extent, PBJ. Amusingly, I went down completely the wrong path with 39D: Key's partner (LOCK). The obvious was apparently not where my brain was, as I typed in Peel. Never mind that he spells his name Peele.

A few less pretty answers are present (LTRS, EXT, ANI), but I didn't mind. Nice Monday.

- Colum


  1. 6:15
    This is the second puzzle in a row, or at least in a few days, with AMY (or AMYS from a recent puzzle) in it. This seemed a typical Monday regarding difficulty to me. Perhaps an EENIE bit more EFFORT was needed in a couple of spots, but nothing TOOBAD. I liked HOTSEAT and loved HEADSWILLROLL, a phrase often used by Sue. Good start to the week.

  2. Agree on ENDOFSTORY (when I had the first letter E, I figured it was probably end something, but figured it would be faster, at least on Monday, to get some of the crosses than to try to fill something in speculatively). I also liked the clue for FINER. My eyebrows were raised a bit on whether MALT is a grain (as opposed to something processed from a grain), but reference works seem to imply that a processed grain is still a kind of grain.

    Anyway, fun and played easy for me. Think I'll go get a PBJ (not hungry enough for multiple BLTS).

  3. 4:29

    IMNEXT to say that I enjoyed the revealer, and that it elevated a standard theme.
    Above average Monday.