Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016, Stanley Newman

0:16:39 (F.W.O.E.)

I spent almost half of my time today looking for an error, which is all the more pitiful because the error was the second Q in QUINQUAGENARIAN (17A: Person between 50 and 59). I went with a T when I first encountered it, and I'm almost happy that tVC (18D: Channel for TV shoppers (QVC)) didn't set off any alarms in my head. Of course, I did eventually realize that there were two Qs in two other answers, but there was also CUECARDS (38A: Orators' aids) (A true orator would probably eschew such things), and I guess I convinced myself that the theme was just a bunch of Qs all over the place. Ahh well, some days will be like that.

So the theme was three words or combination of words (or names or fake words) that have two Qs in them. Fine. I almost prefer the Down words using the Qs, like ACQUITS (1D: Emulates the O. J. Simpson jury) (too soon), MACAQUE (42D: Cousin of a baboon), and PLAQUE (28D: Award on a wall). I also enjoyed OROTUND (43D: Deep and sonorous, as a voice), TORPEDO (47D: Sink, as one's chances), and TRICKLE (3D: Sparse flow) (I had intended the animated GIF to represent SPURTS, but TRICKLE could also work). As I review this now, I think that the triple seven stacks in each corner are really quite strong. The only weak one of the 12 is AWAITED (12D: Was in store for), and that's not all that weak. Some slightly uncommon proper names help to tie everything together (POITIER, LESTAT, RICARDO, MORTIMER, and YARROW), but overall, I think the fill is quite good.

Once again, 1A: ACTV (End of "Macbeth" or "Othello") (C+) (the plus is for The Bard) was the first answer that I put in confidently. The answer that I put in the least confidently was OTOWN (73A: Central Florida metropolis, informally). Do they really call it that? And is that nationally known? Could I get away with the clue "Southern N.H. city, affectionately" for "ManchVegas?" I just might try it.

- Horace


  1. 16:38 (How about that?)
    SHAQATTAQ is excellent, although I noticed the man is getting a bit large around the middle lately. Everyone loves a COUPLET, but I don't agree, of course, with the given one. I didn't mind the proper names too much, but needed all of the crosses for Anthony EDEN. The corner seven-stacks are, indeed, strong, and overall it's a much more satisfying puzzle than was yesterday's. I love all of the Qs.

  2. 5:21
    I think I remember a team called the QUEBECNORDIQUES. Turns out they moved to Colorado after the 1995 season. Guess it shows that I'm not a hockey fan. It's a nice grid shape which avoids any answer having to cross two theme answers. That's good, because think what might happen if two Qs fell in the same down answer as well! Madness, that's what. Chaos. Catastrophe.

    1. I still have a Quebec Nordiques jersey stashed somewhere... that answer was a nice bonus for this hockey fan.

  3. Something OROTUND about this puzzle. Maybe the obscure entries like OTOWN or MORTIMER (yes, I saw the movie, no, I didn't remember the character's name). Maybe all the nice 7 letter answers in the corners. They're all quality. Because they are 7 letters? Probably not, but there isn't a dud among them. Or maybe the Qs just give it a nice round feel. Favorite answer? UPC (as clued).