Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016, Alan Arbesfeld


Talk about wacky! This was so over the top silly, I loved it. First off, having four 15-letter original palindromes (well, after googling all four, I see that the last two are at least searchable) is crazy. And I am still giggling over numbers 3 and 4. TOOBADIHIDABOOT! NOWAYAPAPAYAWON!!!!!

Okay, so your mileage may vary on this sort of thing. I personally enjoy the silliness. I also kind of enjoyed being able to work the back of the long answers after figuring out the crosses of the front parts.

There are some good stuff in the fill, and some... well, questionable parts. I'll start with the latter. Jesse UNRUH? The loser of the 1970 gubernatorial race in California? Apparently, he was known as Big Daddy Unruh, which wins for the best nickname. Not only did he lose that race, he also lost several other races, before becoming the State Treasurer of California for over a decade. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's a stretch for common knowledge.

1A: Music direction meaning "with the bow" (ARCO) is good (A-). I always enjoy musical answers. It was also the first answer I put in confidently.

12D: Second cousin? (MOMENT) is a very nice clue. It took me quite some time to recognize what they were getting at there. 13D: Time out? (SIESTA) was not quite as good. But I liked 39D: Where some long runs take place (BROADWAY) the best. Hurray for the no question mark clue!

Anyway, this was fun, and I give it a thumbs up.

- Colum


  1. 11:28

    Chalk up another positive vote for the theme. Everybody loves absurdity! I don't know which is more ludicrous, the clues or the answers. "My concealment of that footwear was so unfortunate." BWAHAhahahaha… heh.

    That's some limb you're out on with UNRUH. I'm just happy the crosses were fair. And what about ERODENT (Tending to wear away)? Weak, that's what. But perhaps it's all worth it. The three clever clues you called out were quite good, and there's nice fill, too, in JUBILANT, RAWHIDE, ITSADATE, and even BLEACH.

    Thumbs up!

  2. 30:17
    Never heard of UNRUH, but as Horace mentions, the crosses are fair. Also as Horace mentions, ERODENT is weak. UNUM is good (23A One for the money?) even though the question mark is used (too many question marks in this puzzle for my taste...I mean, it's Thursday!). Great theme, though, makes up for all of the junk. My least favorite of the theme answers was, hands down, ATSARANUNARASTA. Nice that SALLY is in the grid.

  3. 21:05
    I will boast that I have heard of Jesse Unruh and that I needed only a couple of crosses. There was a news anchor in Boston, Heather Unruh (who apparently just ended a 15-year stint on Channel 5 this week), who I remember noting shared this last name. And I'm pretty sure I learned of Jesse Unruh after Ms. Unruh's arrival on air, so it was his name effectively matching hers in my mind rather than the other way around, even though Heather was a young girl in 1970.