Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016, Ed Sessa


Here it is, finally, the first salvo in the annual seasonal NYT crossword rush. And that's several weeks later than the rest of the country, so that's something at least. I figured it out by the third set of shaded squares, but I had no idea what the lyric following the syllables PA RUM PUM PUM PUM were, so it took some crosses to get going on MEANDMYDRUM. Of course, the only recording worthwhile thinking of for this otherwise fairly forgettable song is the one with Bing Crosby and the late David Bowie, looking incredibly young here.

It is enjoyable to say RUMPLE PUMICE PUMPER PUMMEL though.

There are four 7-letter down answers, and the rest are no longer than 6-letters. I like 42D: What's your beef? (REDMEAT) and 43D: Assemble in a makeshift way (JURYRIG), especially the latter. Otherwise, we get a reference to The Karate Kid, two pharmaceutical names in PROZAC and PFIZER, and not a lot else.

1A: Parts of a crab that grab (CLAWS) gets a B-, and that mostly for the silly clue. It was also what I entered first.

Yeah... the rest of the puzzle is not that interesting, really. I give it a wishy-washy thumbs up.

- Colum


  1. 7:10
    "The Little Drummer Boy" was a staple at Christmas time in my childhood home, growing up, as I did, in a Roman Catholic environment, so MEANDMYDRUM went in with no crosses. ALOHA is almost timely on 12/6. I count 21 three-letter answers on a quick scan, which is probably too many, and quite a few of the 4s and 5s are crosswordese, so I'll agree with Colum's overall puzzle rating.

  2. 7:30 (FWOE)

    Never saw Karate Kid, and had oZT instead of AZT, ERGO, IRE.

    The "pum"s give some nice words, as you sort of indicate, and I like TANTRUM and the others you mention. The puzzle and the song are both kind of meh, so at least it's fitting.