Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturday, December 10, 2016, Byron Walden


So... THAT happened.

And yes, people say that nowadays. Mostly people under 30. It's a cute bit of up-to-dateness that also happened to be my first entry in the grid. There is a lot to like about this puzzle, and then there are some things I'd rather not have seen (KNEADERS, I'm looking at you!).

In each corner, there's some great entries. In the NW, I enjoyed 3D: Holiday ball (ORNAMENT), and 15A: Play with an imaginary friend (HARVEY) is a lovely example of turning what seems like a verb into a noun. ERNANI is a clunker, even though I was able to pull it out of whatever store of opera titles I have somewhere in my brain. It is by Verdi, who Italians consider to be their greatest composer of all time (I prefer Vivaldi and even Puccini, myself).

The NE corner has the wonderful 16A: Leader in a suit? (EXHIBITA). I really love that. 7D: Sign of the cross? (PEDXING) is also fine. ETTORE and ABE are necessary but blah glue. SNOCKERED is fun, although I wanted "snookered", which felt more correct, but on researching I see has a completely different meaning. I've been to KAUAI, and I saw the mountain both from a catamaran and from a helicopter. Nice honeymoon memories.

We've really been enjoying LOUISCK's Louie. We're on season 3, and it's just killing it. But otherwise the SE corner is the weakest. LANKAN, LAA, even IGIVE, not so great. I liked SLEEPERHOLD (much better than it's symmetric counterpart, STANDNEXTTO).

The SW corner has IMTOOSEXY, which is a stupid song, in my book, but the clue is outstanding. Ah, VH1. I wanted strandED for MAROONED.

1A: "Summer's joys are ____ by use": Keats (SPOILT) gets an A- because, well, Keats, that's why.

All in all, I felt the turn was not up to snuff this week. Let's hope next week is more inspiring.

- Colum


  1. 63:56 (FWOE)
    Surely, Colum is in the minority regarding his opinion of IMTOOSEXY, no? NUNCIO is a nice word, but I needed four of the six crosses for it. DIALECTS had an excellent clue. People may be wondering what took me so damn long and the location of my error. Answers: the NW, where I filled in HARVEY off of the ___VEY, but OBESE, GYM and ERNANI were very slow coming, and TESORO/EDS. The puzzle, save for the NW, took me just over 20 minutes to fill in. Regarding ABE, I thought it at least good that it wasn't clued with "Honest ___," but that's not saying much. "Louis" is very good; I've watched a good deal of it, but then Netflix (or was it Amazon?) wanted to charge me for it, so I bailed. Same with "Inside Amy Schumer." Anyway, PETHATES is excellent, but my favorite was probably SNOCKERED (or AMORTIZE...tough to choose). SNOOPERS is nearly as bad as KNEADERS. OK Saturday.

  2. Of course, I was on Kaua'i, also, but took neither a catamaran ride nor a helicopter ride. We saw the "Sleeping Giant" mountain, however, on our drive up to hike in Hanalei after kayaking and hiking in to see the Secret Falls (Uluwehi). We called our trip the "Avoid the Seven-Year Itch" trip in February 2011, during which we visited The Big Island, Moloka'i, Maui and Kaua'i.

  3. 28:11 (FWOE)

    I love that this opened with Keats. I only wish I could have dropped it in immediately, instead of waiting for a couple crosses. I also thought I should have been able to come up with EBENEZER Baptist Church, but really I was thinking of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, where the younger King was pastor before moving to Atlanta.

    As you note, the cluing on HARVEY, EXHIBITA, and a few others, is excellent. My mistake came, surprisingly, at KAwAI. I'm not sure why I went with the electronics brand instead of the island, and somehow the cross - LOwISCK didn't strike me as odd. I guess, since I never saw "The Secret Life of Pets" that I allowed myself to think it was actually some young comedian's name. Heh.

    IMTOOSEXY is barely in my consciousness. And I guess that means I didn't love it.