Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016, Scott Yut


It's a debut puzzle today, so welcome to the fold, Mr. Yut! And I love your theme: it's a knee-slapper! Kept me on my toes, so to speak!

Yeah, so, the revealer is SHOWSOMELEG, and I needed i. And it is the purest example of why we don't need circles or shaded squares with a well constructed revealer. Hidden in each of the other three long across answers is a body part related to the leg. In each case, it crosses the two words, just the way we like it.

In terms of the answers themselves, I like TROPICALFRUIT ("calf") and RIDGEMONTHIGH ("thigh") just fine. However, BANKLENDING ("ankle") feels like an ad hoc phrase. Certainly, we'd all accept a "bank loan" as a thing (and many of us, I assume, have accepted a bank loan in his or her life), but this other thing sounds more corporate. In any case, it's not terrible, and I can't think of another example that would work ("Crank lemon"? "Thank Lenny"? "Spank lead"?).

Outside of the theme, I liked STREETCRED, and I liked UMATHURMAN getting her complete name in a grid, rather than just her first name as a piece of crosswordese glue. I also enjoyed AMERICAS symmetrically placed opposite from SUMATRAN, appropriately given their relative places on the world map.

I had very little to complain about. Yes, the NW and the SE corner are replete with crosswordese, and to that point, 1A: Places for hosp. scrubs (ORS) gets a D. It was also my first answer. But I liked the grid overall, and the theme was fun. It was perhaps too easy for a Wednesday.

Oh, it's been some time since HOMEEC was "for-girls-only", hasn't it? I took it in the 70s. Just sayin'.

Thumbs up.

- Colum


  1. 5:25

    I, too, thought this played a little easy for a Wednesday, but I, too, enjoyed it nonetheless.

    I, too, took HOMEEC in high school, and I wish I still had the recipe for the egg nog we made in that class, because it was the best I ever had. And I've had a lot of egg nog. ...

    Tried "Egypt" for "Arab Spring country" (LIBYA), and "amped" (ridiculous) for WIRED ("Overcaffeinated"). Furthermore, "Verbal zinger" for MOT doesn't seem quite legit. I mean, "bon mot" is okay, but just "mot?" ... Je pense pas.

    But I don't want to grouse. I liked this one. For once, I actually thought to myself during the solve "What is the theme here, anyway?" And then when I figured it out, I was amused. So it's all good.

    p.s. If I ever do create a puzzle, I will try my darnedest to get Mr. Shortz to accept SPANKLEAD as an answer to "Rough start to foreplay."

    p.p.s. Do mongoose always win?

  2. The theme is OK but the best part about it is the revealer. That was quite fun.

    Quite amused to see both ERNE and sea EAGLE as answers, because of course ERN(E) is so familiar but we rarely get the twofer.

    And TTYL is a suitable up to date phrase. I mean, people really use it and it's well known enough to use in a crossword. Doesn't feel forced.

    I was a bit inclined to quibble about the clue for FINAGLE - I think of it as sightly milder, involving trickery or machination, not neccesarily deceit. The dictionaries sort of back me up, but not so much as to say that deceit is really out of bounds for a sure fire finagler, so I'll withdraw that objection.

    A bit surprised by IMACOP since "just the facts, maam" was all I could think of. Too many letters, though.

    Favorite answer? Maybe STREETCRED or CHURN. Or those eagles. I really am in an erne loving mood it would seem.

  3. 5:15
    Very easy for a Wednesday, but I agree that it's saved by the great theme. And c'mon, Horace, haven't you seen "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi?" Of course the mongoose always wins! I don't have much to add to the above except that the clue for ENERO (16A Month after diciembre) was slightly better than usual. I took HOMEEC in the 70s, too, and the crepes were the standout dish from what I remember.