Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday, January 8, 2017, Peter Broda and Erik Agard


Yesterday I started my review by saying that a pleasing grid shape can influence how I feel about a puzzle. Another thing that can sway me is a good title, and when I read today's, I couldn't wait to dig in and find out what it meant. It turned out that the trick was to simply follow the instructions and "downsize" by using only the first initial of the first name and concatenating with the last name to make a new word. Thus: "The downsizing of names."

The answer that gave it to me was the amusingly-clued PROSEPOETRY (31A: "Charlie Hustle is my name / I am banned from the Hall of Fame," e.g.?). Once you know what's going on, some of them give the first letter away, like 20A: Things smoked by singer Courtney? (CLOVECIGARETTES), but I didn't really mind that. The theme entries are all pretty good. I didn't know what CHANDLERBING was, but I looked it up and it seems to have been a character on the show "Friends." MALIEMPIRE seemed a bit odd, but it's hard to criticize anything having to do with Muhammed Ali, so I'll let it slide.

The non-theme fill was quite good, I thought. The top half of URLHIJACKING (58D: Underhanded use of someone else's domain name) looks amazing in the grid, and its symmetrical pairing HARRYHOUDINI is also strong. Other highlights include MINOTAUR (83D: Figure at the center of a maze), PERJURE (67D: Forswear), DANK (54A: Cold and wet), LEOTARD (92D: Trampolinist's wear), and KIDNEYS (30D: Nephrologists study them). Who knew?

Sure, we've got the usual bits of glue, like CTA, ERM, GENL, SEGO, SSNS, and EXS (but it is "Ex's" in the song title), but I don't mind. This was a quality Sunday puzzle.

- Horace


  1. Definitely a cut above the usual Sunday fare. Some new KIDNEYS immediately, of course. I also enjoyed MIXCDS. So much better than a random Roman numeral. NOUTURN seemed a little ad hoc, on the other hand. I didn't realize that VICEUNIT was a theme answer until I finished the puzzle, mostly because I assumed they were talking about Ice-T being on Law & Order.

    1. P.S. Stephen Fry looks so young!!! But that was 26 years ago, after all. Ouch.

  2. 38:15
    Almost a perfect time for a Sunday puzzle. I really enjoyed the theme and most of the theme answers (SCURRYAWAY refers to someone of whom I've never heard, and so loses a few points). DORAG is great and it's interesting regarding its ban. BEERDARTS is a term I've never used. Who doesn't know CHANDLERBING? I knew KIDNEYS right away, and loved BBCRADIO's clue (1D Original airer of "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy"), although there are some on this blog that are of the opinion that Douglas Adams insists upon himself.