Thursday, September 1, 2016

Friday, September 2, 2016, David Liben-Nowell


OK, let's start at the beginning - 1A: Ultimate necessity (FRISBEE) gets an A+. It's an excellent clue, an excellent answer, and it was the very last thing I put into the puzzle. Me, who played ultimate somewhat regularly from age 18 through about age 46, and it was the last thing I put into the grid. Sheesh!

So, ok, good start (or, really, finish) but what else? Well, I found things to like everywhere along the way. 11D: One with connections to traveling speakers? (CARRADIO) is brilliantly clued, as is EYES (23D: They can turn red in a flash). A camera flash! 22A: Valuable diamond (ACE), 21A: Something you might take a pass on (BUS), 57A: Order that's rarely followed? (DESSERT), and the amusingly meta 32A: This (THIRTYTWOACROSS) are all great. I'll say it right now, this is my favorite puzzle in months.

FROLIC, MUTANT, BROADWAY (5D: Place for a long run, maybe), ALIENATE (18A: Push away)... it's all so good. I don't recognize this constructor's name, and if this is a debut, it is even more impressive.

The first answer I put in confidently was ADAY (28A: One ____ (multivitamin)). Kind of a lame "first entry" but I got almost nothing else for certain on my first pass through the Acrosses, so the gimme was welcome.

Excellent puzzle.

- Horace

p.s. It's his tenth puzzle, but it's only the second we've seen from him since starting this blog, and the first of his that I reviewed. I look forward to seeing more.


  1. 36:34
    I wholeheartedly agree on the excellent nature of this puzzle. In addition to the things mentioned above, what about 14A Cup holder (no question mark) (BRASTRAP), and Judge Judy's mention? What, you didn't know DATSUN right off the clue? ROOKED (54A Took for a ride): fantastic, as was 26D Contract employee? (HITMAN). BTW, the reason this puzzle took so long for me, well at least an extra eight minutes or so, is because I was waiting for my haircut while solving and I was distracted by a protracted F-word-laced rant about banks from Sue's and my hairdresser.

  2. 18:00
    6:37 of which was spent on all of the puzzle outside the NW, and the remainder on that isolated corner. Which is really my only complaint: the NW and SE corners are so completely isolated. Otherwise, I loved it. I give props to Hope who got both BROADWAY and FRISBEE. Nice work! My first confident answer was ILED. Wow, there's some deep Cole Porter knowledge going on there!