Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016, Andrew Zhou


What a tasty Tuesday puzzle! Today we're served up ham, lard, pork, and bacon, all from a single, wonderful, magical animal.

Wouldn't it have been kind of cool to feature all different food themes on Thanksgiving week? Well... I think it's a good idea. But maybe there just aren't that many food-themed puzzles... hmmm.

Anywho, 1A: Musical talent, informally (CHOPS) could be considered part of the theme, too, although it was not grayed out in the online version. Likewise 65A: Opposite of 57-Across (NONKOSHER), to Muslims (HALAL) seems, also, to belong to the theme. But not officially, it would appear.

The theme-encapsulating answers are pretty strong, I think. A[HAM]OMENT (18A: When you get it) (I had one on this clue!), POPU[LARD]EMAND (23A: Something might be brought back by this), and S[PORK] (37A: Versatile eating implement) are all solid. N[BACON]FERENCE (47A: Eastern or Western, for hoopsters) is a lot less exciting, but how else are you going to hide the bacon, as it were?

Speaking of less-than-exciting, I didn't love POPPA (59A: Momma's partner), the singular BORA or the plural NOELS, and there's a staleness to AMOSNANDY, HARPO, and CAPRA, but aside from that (and "that" isn't really all that bad), there's quite a bit of strong non-theme material. MAJESTIC, FIELDMICE, MARKSMEN, (they love to pluralize!), PINOCHLE, TRADEWAR,  MINNESOTA... all good. PINNUMBER (4D: What's punched into an A.T.M., redundantly) was amusingly clued.

1A: gets a B, and my first entry was SOTS (6A: Drunkards). Heh. Er, I mean, Hic!

Entertaining Tuesday with a fun theme. Thumbs up.

- Horace


  1. 5:32 (FWOE)
    Again! I entered SEAt (Where tailors meet?) and EtAIL (Kind of client). They seemed to make sense, but clearly what I meant to say was "SEAMed" to make sense. Uh. Yeah. Okay. Anyway, SPORK is an outlier in that the other theme answers split their pig-related food item across two words. I enjoyed the puzzle on the whole.

  2. 7:17
    Nicely themed puzzle, although I don't partake of any of those items at present, rarely use a SPORK, and have never heard of HALAL. Not loving sports-related items, I needed all of the crosses for MAV but, oddly, none for NBACONFERENCE (I knew the theme by then). BORA Bora was under consideration for our honeymoon. Horace doesn't think that MRED is stale, also, or maybe part of the theme?