Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016, Brendan Emmett Quigley


Does it feel like 2016 was a tough year? I know it certainly was for some. And tonight, one day after Carrie Fisher died, her mother Debbie Reynolds passed away as well. It will be nice to turn the calendar over in a few days.

In the meantime, as trivial as it may seem, it's nice to have something like the New York Times crossword to turn to, to take our minds off of our troubles for a short period. And what better way to do it than to remember THECARPENTERS?

This is a cute theme, with four relatively well known individuals whose names remind us of carpentry. In two cases, it's the last name (Wood and Hammer), and in two cases it's the first name (Studs and Brad). It would have been nice to find names in both genders, and I know some might have not heard of Stevens, especially outside of New England. And also Mike Hammer isn't a real person and the other three are. But these are small nits to pick.

The rest of the puzzle is well made. 1A: Some pears (BOSCS) gets a B-, losing points for being a plural, but gaining points for being tasty. My first confident answer was LITUP.

I enjoyed HOWRU and YACHTSMAN. I wish WHAMMO had been clued using the frisbee brand. I expect ET59 enjoyed 49D, despite their poor performance this season.

33A: "Your point being...?" (SOO) ... is ... well, I'm not sure. What do people think? I get it, but is it real? I suppose Philippa Soo (original portrayer of Eliza Hamilton in the musical) is not well enough known to merit a clue that way.

Looking forward to the turn!

- Colum


  1. I guess maybe SOO would be better with fewer or more O's for me. Soooooo? So? I don't know, the more I try to think about it, the less sure I am whether it is clever or just a big "huh?"

    Wasn't sure I'd like the theme once I figured out it was going to be four proper names and a pop group. But I did know the first two people and THECARPENTERS, so maybe I can get over never having heard of the other two? Carpentry items do seem like good theme material.

    Liked the clue for PATTERNS (sort of a misdirect, at least in the sense that I was first thinking in terms of measuring tapes or some design tool I'd never heard of or something).

    Nice clue for ROSE. History is a fun topic and this (at least for me) want too obscure to know or too obvious to be interesting.

    Let's see.... Cute HERTZ clue. Took me a surprising amount of time to get ALP (I mean, what else has a German-looking word ending in -horn?). ASPS was another clever clue. All in all, pretty nice.

  2. 13:01
    BOSCS was my first confident answer, and I'd have scored it in the Cs because it's crosswordese and plural. Not much slowed me down, although I did need most crosses for SLINKIER and for the ____SMAN of YACHTSMAN. I know Melissa MCBRIDE (TWD) better than Martina, but that went in right away regardless. PLOTZ is a word I've never used, but I like it. Decent puzzle, nice theme.

  3. 13:53 (FWOE)

    Frisbees are made by "Wham-O," so that wouldn't have worked. I had "and" at 33A for quite a while, and only reluctantly changed it letter by letter to SOO, so I guess you can put me in the "I don't think soooo" group. And speaking of that, I'm with Mr. Kingdon, wanting more Os.

    I knew ELIJAHWOOD and MIKEHAMMER (though I ended up with MaKEHAMMER somehow), and although I've heard of STUDSTERKEL, I would never have been able to come up with a book he wrote. Nor, probably, the fact that he was an author. BRADSTEVENS is completely unknown to me. But hey, I love THECARPENTERS, so it's all right with me.

    What channel to I have to have to see "When raccoons attack!"?