Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2016, Paolo Pasco


Tough Saturday. Frannie and I passed this one back and forth, which is rare these days. I did most of the top, she most of the bottom, and we both stared long and hard at the last two squares - the cross of NATAL (27A: Brazilian state capital) and LAMPED (28D: Clobbered, in British slang). LAMPED? Really? I call foul. And the other cross, which Frannie eventually got, was AKA (46A: Going by) and CAKEPOP (37D: Snackable treat on a stick). AKA is good, but if CAKEPOP is a thing, it's a thing I don't know.

Things I liked - TINFOILHAT (56A: Stereotypical wear for a crackpot theorist), CARAMELS (10D: Sticky treats), TERENCE (38D: Ancient playwright who specialized in New Comedy), NIGERIA (35D: Country of 180+ million people that has never participated in the Winter Olympics) (interesting), ATEASE (44D: Chilling), and TIGRIS (25D: River flowing from the Garden of Eden, in the Bible).

Things I didn't like RURALIST (34D: Definitely not a city slicker), MOMMAS (30D: May honorees, colloquially), MAGE (15A: Dungeons & Dragons class), the repetition of "up" in PRIEDUP and RARESUP, the backward cross-reference in 1D and 4D, and the two entries mentioned at the start.

1A: Facebook acquired it in 2014 for $19.3 billion (WHATSAPP) gets a C. It should have been my first answer, but I couldn't come up with the name immediately, so THEMARTIAN ended up being my first confident answer.

I guess I'm a little down on this one overall. I didn't particularly like the long diagonal of black squares that cut the grid in half, there were those dislikes, and I don't know... it just didn't do it for me. Not all bad, of course, but not my perfect Saturday puzzle.

- Horace


  1. 35:46
    I've never heard of a CAKEPOP either, but I'm intrigued. This seemed fine to me, and it introduced me to what could be a new activity: PUBGOLF! The back nine in that game probably gets a bit dicey, though. Peter TOSH has been dead for nearly 30 years now; he'd probably be happy with the results of Question 4 here in MA.

  2. 10:12 (finished with my mother, and some help from Cece) - but also with several errors, relating to putting in AREtOo without checking the crosses. We were left with NAoA_ for the Brazilian state capital, and thus had no chance at getting the L of LAMPED (agree with the crying foul). It's funny you should mention CAKEPOP, because Cece got that off the clue and ____P.

    I love the NW and the SE corners. WHATSAPP over AARONBURR over THEMARTIAN is high quality. TINFOILHAT over ACEOFBASE is great, but ENLISTED is not as wonderful.

    MUSLIMERA is just a made up thing. Are we calling the entire period from 4000 BC, the "Jewish era"? I think not. Still, I liked this puzzle more than you did.