Saturday, August 13, 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016, Patrick Berry

17:43 (FWOE)

What a lovely gift, to get a Patrick Berry puzzle on a Saturday morning. They're always so clean, so smooth, with enjoyable cluing and interesting long answers. My only complaint today, really, is that the grid is separated into three sections with minimal connections between them.

I entered the grid at 1A: Player's fee (ANTE), which gets a C for being average. It's pretty rare that I can get into a Saturday in the NW, let alone at 1A, so I thought that boded well. And in fact, things moved along well in that corner. All three of the first down answers are very nice, especially NOUTURN. Looks so strange, doesn't it? I also liked that EILEEN / FISHER is placed symmetrically at 4D and 41D. Those are the little touches that distinguish Mr. Berry's puzzles.

Unfortunately, I put in LOUIePRIMA (I must have been thinking of Mr. Armstrong), which meant that STAN (never heard of the song) was ungettable. FRAN, by the way, refers to Kukla, Fran, and Ollie - a woman and two puppets. Never saw it.

I worked my way up out of the SW corner from BEINGTHERE (an easy answer for a Peter Sellers fan) and BSHARP. That's the second time we've seen that answer recently. CECILIA is awfully close to my heart as well, although we all know that's not the way you spell that name. 35A: Book collection? (CHARACTERS) was tricky, but not as tricky as 34A: Jailor, sailor and tailor (JOBTITLES). The clue is so oddly specific! Still, after getting JANE, what else could it have been?

33D: Hillary mate (NORGAY) is a wonderful misdirection in today's hyper election aware atmosphere. I was thinking of Bill at first, of course, then of Kaine. But no, it's Sir Edmund we should be thinking about, not Ms. Rodham Clinton. 33A: Filing centers (NAILSALONS) without a question mark is my favorite clue of the day.

The two long down answers are outstanding: CARDINALRED and STABATMATER. Very nice. I also liked EVENSTEVEN and YESHIVA, as well as the enlightening clue for 11D: Horror film remake released on 6/6/06 (THEOMEN).

Fun puzzle.

- Colum


  1. 44:57
    I'd never heard of LOUISPRIMA, and ricola fits where LUDENS belongs, so the NW was the last to fall for me. FRAN, ATSEA, and ANY went in immediatly. 3D Super ___ (TUESDAY) took longer and I had the ____AN_ER of 17A It goes station to station and was thinking of a scanner of some sort. However, all clues fell with time, typical for a Saturday, I may add, and I received the "Congratulations!" box with my final entry. I loved the clue for 43A Albert Einstein and others (DEISTS), and also the word TWEENAGERS. NAILSALONS is, indeed, great, but alas, didn't fool me for one second, nor did NORGAY, which I entered off of the clue. Excellent Saturday, which is, as Colum suggests, expected of Mr. Berry. Who hasn't seen "Kukla, Fran and Ollie?!?!" How old is this Colum, anyway?