Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016, Jonathan M. Kaye and Jeff Chen

0:24:32 (F.W.T.E.)

I caught on to the J = "hook" theme at the intersection of DMAJOR (11D: Key of Pachelbel's Canon) and RINGINGOFFTHE[HOOK] (18A: Getting tons of calls), and the rest of the theme answers went quickly after that. I didn't notice until reviewing the puzzle, though, that all the black squares form Js - or hooks. Cute.

There's lots to like in this puzzle. First of all, there's a great new clue for my favorite bit of crosswordese - EEL - 21A: Fish whose name is a calculator number turned upside down. I don't actually know that it's really new, but it's new to me.

I spent a lot of time in the SW and SE today. ABJECT (47D: The absolute worst) and SALVOS (48D: 21-gun salutes, e.g.) are both excellent, but they took me a very long time to see. And on the other side, XYZ (62D: History's ____ Affair) was totally unknown to me, and I'm very sorry that I didn't see TRIX (61A: Colorful corn balls). I was flailing, not sure whether 58D: Little Caesar in "Little Caesar" was RoCO or RICO, and not sure at all about the aforementioned XYZ. Oh well.

I like the theme, and I like the extra touch of making so many Js out of the black squares. Let's give the whole thing a thumbs up.

- Horace


  1. 10:05
    The darned app thought using the rebus [HOOK] was an error, so that pushed me to 10:27 by the time I replaced all of them. Silly. Although I see now with all of those Js in the black squares why the J was preferred in the answers as well.

    The SE corner was my ending as well. I had the ____KER and the ____KTRA in there from those answers and nothing else, until I finally broke RACY, and the rest came into place. Even then... ATOZ clued by "Covering the waterfront"? Boy, that's rough cluing, but fair for a Thursday.

    Is that a BEEFALO? Good Lord, it's frightening looking. I give 1A: Event with a kind and queen (PROM) a B+ for the fun clue. Also, watch The Crown on Netflix. It's pretty amazingly well done.

    Finally, sad news about Leonard Cohen today.

    1. Ouch. Leonard Cohen. And thanks for the 1A rating, which I totally forgot. I agree with your grade.

  2. 22:27
    Fun theme today, and I, too, figured it out early with DMAJOR and its theme crossing. Jockey ARCARO is not known to me, but the crosses were fine, even the aforementioned BEEFALO, for which there is no need. MAGNETO is nice, as was the great clue for TRIX, which took me a while to get, too. 16A Netflix activity (BINGE) took me by surprise (and it's something I've never done, since I have other things going on). ELEKTRA should have been clued with Strauss instead of the brand-name record label, but that's my only real complaint. Thumbs up here, too.