Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016, Mary Lou Guizzo


There were three squares that did me in, two of them contained in the name MALALAYOUSAFZAI (17A: Youngest-ever Nobel Prize recipient). She was a co-recipient of the Peace prize in 2014, and was the subject of a documentary in 2015 called He Named Me Malala. If only I had seen that documentary! As it was, I did not know REA (4D: New Deal power agcy.) (I fouled up that section for a while by brazenly guessing "TVA"), and I had guessed Ppt for 11D: Many an email attachment (PDF). PDF is much more common, of course, and CORDITE (16A: Smokeless explosive) sounds better than CORpITE, but the latter is not unthinkable. So anyway, that's too many errors.

My troubles aside, I did enjoy the challenge, and I really like the look of this grid. Four fifteens running around the outer region, open corners, and a classic X design in the middle. My first confident answer was ZIN (21A: Cab alternative). 1A: Collection of high lights? (STARMAP), gets an A-.

The aforementioned fifteens are all solid - even the name, which is perfectly fair game for a Saturday. Heck, the youngest winner, and just two years ago! I should keep up more with world affairs... but who has the time?!

Favorite material - CODERED (25D: [Emergency!]), 57D: "I already have other plans," often (LIE), 22A: Cold shower (HAIL), DAMSELS (42D: Fairy tale figures), ETERNAL (41D: Like the Olympic flame, PURGED (40A: Got rid of). Least favorite - STEPINS, ETAILER, RETIN (39D: ____-A), OLDAS (26A: ____ dirt). I'll just give the usual ESAS, LTS, RRS, and ONT type stuff a pass. I liked the challenge, but it wasn't my favorite Saturday.

- Horace


  1. 18:08
    First answer I put in confidently: ANAIS, then PSYCHO. I put in PIZZAMARGHERITA without crosses. I knew visiting Naples would come in handy some day. I love the clue at 2D: Skipping sounds (TRALALA). That is so out there! I too wanted TVA at 4D, but finally took it out when I couldn't get a French city name to fit at 15A. Even when I had ____NS, it took me too long. I was stuck on Le Mans and Amiens.

  2. 32:29
    There aren't too many times I could say this, but I think that not having a TV and isolating yourself from popular culture has being a negative here if you don't know Malala. She's a very good story; well, except for being a girl who was shot in the head on a school bus by the Pakistani Taliban for being an advocate for educating girls! The very good story is that she survived and has gone on unyieldingly in her efforts to fight for girls' rights and women's rights. In addition to winning the Peace Prize: she's spoken at the UN; she's met with the President; she was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and often mentioned by him on other shows; she wrote a memoir that's been on many top seller lists; and she has bought worldwide attention to the plight of young women in that part of the world. I was pretty sure from the clue that she was the answer, but hesitated putting it in because I couldn't remember how to spell her last name. Shame on me.

  3. 23:43
    Geez, and I thought this was very, very easy for a Saturday, having sailed right through it. STARMAP went in confidently right away, and I was off and running. I was happy with this one, especially after my struggle yesterday (Friday). TOMEI and MEHTA are two names I don't mind seeing in the grid. Other than the short answers mentioned by Horace, I found this to be an enjoyable and solid puzzle. Mmmm...PIZZAMARGHERITA.