Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016, Ned White

5:41 (FWOE)

We just watched Blazing Saddles. Gene Wilder will be missed and loved. So funny.

I was amused by this theme. It works really well in three out of the four answers, and the fourth one is pretty good too. You add "it" to the end of a standard phrase to make a new silly phrase. And the revealer is MAKEITLAST... get it? or should I say get "it"?

The idea works best when the addition turns the last word into another word, or reconfigures the phrase to mean something entirely different. Thus SWINGBANDIT and EMILYPOSTIT in the first sense, and SHORTSTOPIT (reparsing shortstop into short "stop it"). YESWECANIT changes the sense of "can" from "able to" into "put into a can" so that's pretty good. Just not quite as good as the other three.

It's a 78-word grid, which means there isn't a lot of room for longer down answers. But we do get both LEGSDIAMOND (full name gets extra credit) and IRSAUDITORS, which is pretty fun (not in real life, you understand). Both of those answers are next to two 7-letter answers. I like BEAHERO - it took a while to figure out where that was going.

ELOI makes another appearance. Methinks it's time this hoary bit of crosswordese went the way of the dodo. In other news, ANO becomes a partial, weirdly. My error came at 47 down, where I put EMt instead of EMS. ROSEt didn't look right, and it wasn't. Should have figured that out.

1A: Sty fare (SLOP) gets a B-. It's a terse clue which improves pig food. On the other hand, all that slop turns pigs into bacon... Okay, I talked myself into a B. It was also the first answer I entered.

I'll give it a thumbs up.

- Colum


  1. 20:58
    Oddly, I needed all of the crosses for MERCH (5A Stuff for sale at concerts), and other things took a while to get, too, so this took me much longer to solve than it did Colum, which isn't unusual. I never heard of the APA before, and IMPALED (43D Stuck) needed most crosses. I loved EMILYPOSTIT for its absurdity. 59A A skeptic may raise one (BROW) is a nice clue. Also, even though it's not "blue," the clue for SEX (65D "The birds and the bees") gets my seal of approval. I won't mention the adjacent pair SALTY NUT. Decent Wednesday.

  2. This puzzle was one of those ones where I enjoyed having a revealer, not because I needed it to see the theme, but just because the revealer was fun. I'm inclined to join the ELOI skepticism. Seems like every time I tell myself, oh, it's that race from the HG Wells story, and then either get it with help from crosses or eventually look it up. BEAHERO also took me a bit, but that's just because I would put laundry, not a picnic, in a HAMPER (I recognize both meanings are widely used, though). Favorite answer? Probably the theme answers, although I did like PAWAT and HOTTUB.