Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016, Joe DiPietro


This theme grew on me. The first one I got was SNOWSURPRISE (40A: A foot on the ground in Phoenix?), quickly followed by STUFFOUTTHERE (23A: "Do your taxidermy on the patio instead!"?), and I thought, Meh. But by the time I got down to SIOUXYOUKNOW (92A: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and that's probably it?) I laughed out loud. That's a funny clue/answer pair! Reviewing all the theme answers now, I guess they're all pretty common phrases. The weakest has got to be SIPTOBESQUARE (113A: Slogan for wine geeks?). I just don't think anyone actually says that, and the clue is even more tortured than the usual wacky-type clue. On the other hand, my second favorite is SOURLITTLESECRET (17D: Mystery ingredient in SweeTarts?). People do say "It's our little secret," and the clue/answer pair is funny!

I guess the whole theme would be a little tighter if Mr. DiPietro had been able to keep answers like SPEDAWAY (12D: Left in a hurry), SCREWS (45D: Pressure, so to speak), and STENT (74A: Surgical tube) out of the grid, but not having any other words start with S seems like it would have been nearly impossible.

My first answer today was NADIR (1A: Point of greatest despair). I thought of it immediately, and figured I'd take a chance. I'll give it a B+ for being kind of a fancy word. But even with that quick start, this one ended up playing a bit long for me, mostly because of the opposite corner, the SE. I had entered "Xfactor" with the same bravado, but this time it didn't hold up. ROQUE (102D: Game with mallets played on a hard-surfaced court) was not known to me, and 78D: Drops to the ground? (LITTERS) was tricky.

Overall, I enjoyed this one after all. EIGHTIRON (52D: Rough choice?) ("sand wedge" also fits) was fun, as was DOUP (3D: Prettify). I'm sure eyes will be rolled at REFIX, REVALUE, and SCARER, but these are small necessary evils. I'm giving it a thumbs up!

- Horace


  1. 66:48
    Ran a little tough for a Sunday, but fun nonetheless. STEWDAMNHOT was clearly the funniest of the theme answers, although SIOUXYOUKNOW runs a close second. I had to really think to get the ROBERT/ILER pair, and got the latter part only by thinking of the similarity that I always noted during the credits to Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played his sister. Terrible clue for IGOR, which should have, of course, been clued with the Marty Feldman character on "Young Frankenstein" which we just watched since it was Halloween and because of the great Gene Wilder's recent passing. BTW, do you all realize that Mr. Feldman was but 48 years old at his time of death? Shocking. Anyway, NADIR was also my first answer, but AREOLAS has to be the most surprising (117A Nipple rings). And no one has ever heard of Dan FOUTS.

    1. Just FYI, FOUTS was a good quarterback for a long time, and is now on every weekend as a color man on CBS for NFL games.

  2. No issue with FOUTS, of course. My favorite theme answer was definitely SIOUXYOUKNOW. That's some fine theme answer wackiness there.