Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016, Michael Ashley


I had three errors in this puzzle, so I call it a DNF.

The weekend of blogging on not enough sleep moseys along. And to boot, I just finished watching the "debate". That was painful. I think it was probably painful whichever side you're on, no matter who you're voting for. These are the depths to which American national politics have stooped? Blah.

No matter, because we have a wacky Sunday NYT crossword puzzle to go over! The theme is one of movie titles where one letter has been doubled, and the new resultant phrase clued in a silly way. Surprisingly, there are only 5 theme answers, so all of them should be really great, right?

Here are the criteria for good theme answers in this situation:

1. The original movie should be well known and recognizable.
2. The new phrase should be unexpected.
3. The clue should be amusing.

Under those rules, the best answer, in my opinion, is ASHOOTINTHEDARK. The original movie, A Shot In The Dark, was the second Pink Panther movie, and the best to my taste. It ramped up the silliness and slapstick without devolving into incomprehensible little skits, as the later movies did. I also like the clue quite a bit.

THELATTESHOW and ASTARRISBORN are close. I've never heard of The Late Show, but the added T was unexpected, and I liked the clue. A Star Is Born is well known, but the added letter created the same sound as the original.

I vote against AMERICANSNIPPER, both for the original movie, which I avoided for a number of reasons, which I won't get into here, and the final clue, which is uninteresting. Likewise HOOTPURSUIT is lost because of the clue. It would have been sillier if it had been about an owl somehow.

Right, anyway, the paucity of theme answers allows for a tone of more interesting fill, such as CRISISMODE, ABHORRENT, SOBSISTER, and JOLTINJOE.

1A: Loud sound in a storm (CLAP): no. I don't like the clue at all. I give it a D-. It was the first answer I put in confidently, however reluctantly.

I had fun working through the grid, but finished in well under my average time, even with the errors.

- Colum

P.S. Clearly I am tired, as I forgot the two down theme answers. SALEMSLOOT has the weirdest clue, while HOMMEALONE is pretty funny.

1 comment:

  1. 38:44 (FWOE)
    My error came at the ECCE/SARACEN cross. I loved 28A Beats handily (SPANKS) and the ZORRO/ZAPPA cross, especially because of the great clue for the latter ("Electric Don Quixote" indeed). DOMINATE was also great (76D Own, so to speak). I think that MOMMY should always be clued with a Reagan reference, and I like that SETI is in the puzzle. RACK could have been clued a bit more racily, and PHAT is great. I didn't love the plural ALOHAS too much, but an OPHELIA quote is always welcome. Other than the OK theme and answers mentioned by Colum, above, I don't have much else to add, except that, as you can see, this went a bit fast for my taste.