Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016, Molly Young


I am big fan of this puzzle. I enjoyed it while solving, and I enjoyed it anew while looking it over just now. I really like the "i-___" theme, many of the answers are interesting words, and the clueing was clever and amusing. Let's dig right in, shall we?

First of all, the IBALL-related theme. We've got no revealer, per se, but the six theme answers (running both horizontally and vertically, which I also like) are all marked with the "from Apple?" tag, so a revealer isn't really necessary. They're all amusing, and some are even a bit daring - ILIFT (14A: New push-up bra from Apple?) and ILASH (66A: New whip from Apple?). Those answers, and others like TWEE (67A: So, so cute), 29A: "Get. Out. Of. Here!" (OMG), TEED (34D: Plenty angry, with "off"), and even TED (55A: Kind of talk) give the puzzle a youthful feel. (ARIL, IBID, and ORE notwithstanding, but at least those have straightforward, almost understandingly apologetic clues.)

Lots of great words in the fill - THREATEN (6D: Jeopardize), FORETOLD (42A: Predicted), LEGION (56A: Numerous), DISPOSE (41D: Scrap, with "of"), RAPPORT (39D: Friendly relationship), and others. Many of the clues made me smile, like 68A: Massage joints (SPAS), 69A: Money makers (MINTS), and the symmetrical MOM and DAD clues - "Having a baby makes one." That's a nice touch. Ms. Young states in her brief commentary on xwordinfo that she constructs by hand, and the care that she puts into her work is plainly evident, as this puzzle SHINES.

1A: Rings up? (HALOS) I will give an A-. My first solid answer was IBID (10A: Footnote abbr.) which, in hindsight, probably could have been something else just as easily.

I could go on, but I'll just call attention to two more things. First, the amusing recurrence of OFTEN after Colum's comment on yesterday's puzzle. And BOTA (30A: Leather bag for wine), which was new to me, but which makes the "Bota Box" brand of wine make much more sense. It's always so nice when one's leisure activities end up bringing new information or understanding. It reminds me of all that I learned from Monty Python when I was younger. Some of which I only understood years later.

My month's up, and Colum takes over tomorrow. May December be filled with many more puzzles like this one. Happy Solving!

- Horace


  1. 5:50
    I too really liked this puzzle. The theme is sort of meh to me, but the brevity of the theme answers makes there be so much space for other wonderful answers. I actually put HALOS in first, which gave me a nice headstart. Overall, it just felt fresh. And OFTEN frequently (twice now!).

  2. 11:00
    Amazing about OFTEN appearing again. STAR (5D Celebrity) would have been better with an astronomy-themed clue. Good theme, even though I'm no fan of i-products. Nice clue for OTTOMAN (43D It can help you get a leg up). And I agree about BOTA; nice to know where the Bota Box, a common sight around the YBH, gets its name.