Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Michael J. Doran


A lot of theme today! What is that, seventy squares?! And I love the pinwheel shape. Obviously, with this much thematic material, one expects to find glue like OME (37A: Kipling's "Follow Me ____"), TECS (59D: Private eyes, in slang), IVE (36A: "____ had enough!"), and the unfortunate IKEAS (19A: Places to buy furniture to assemble), but it's not all that bad. Well... as I look around a little more I see ROILY (39D: Turbulent) and EELER (50D: Conger catcher) too... and IAMBI. Yikes!

But let's focus on the good stuff, shall we? I like the many different "houses" represented. "Tree house" is probably my favorite, but TREEANIMAL (11D: *Sloth, for one) is the weakest theme entry. Oh well. Incidentally, the "toll houses" have just been removed from many exits on the Massachusetts Turnpike! So that's nice. We still have to pay tolls, we just don't have to wait in lines anymore to do it. And "White House?" ... let's not talk about that right now.

In non-theme, I like POTLUCK (4D: Dinner at which everyone does the dishes?) (Cute.), GAIETY (53A: High spirits), BEEFY (32D: Like many bar bouncers), and CORDS (7D: Ribbed pants, informally).

1A: First instrument heard in the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home" (HARP) gets a B+. It should have been my first entry, I suppose, but I didn't want to take the time to think too much about it, so WATTS (9A: Bulb units) ended up being my first confident answer.

Overall, I guess I'll give this a thumbs up. It's got some pretty fierce crosswordese, but it's also got a dense theme, and more than a few nice non-theme answers.

- Horace


  1. 4:50 (FWTE)

    Yeah, rushed through this one. SHEErA? I don't think so. And the other was a typo, where I had put in TECd by mistake. Oh, well.

    I'm always kind of impressed by this type of theme, although I suppose it's much easier now with computer algorithms spitting out words. Still, I like OPENHOUSE. That's a clever revealer. But, yeah, way way way too much crosswordese. I winced so much when I put ROILY in.

  2. 7:06
    No slowdowns here, as I kept the PACE up nicely. IKEAS is terrible, but the theme is OK. I've not yet seen the new TRON, and, although I'm familiar with the song, and album, I needed a cross for HARP (sadly). I agree with Colum on ROILY, and it's been quite a long time since I've heard the term ANGLO-Saxon, which seemed much more common when I was younger. PTBOAT reminds me, fondly, of the Conway/Borgnine team of old.