Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017, Michael Shteyman


Given the revealer of ATANDT (44D: Communications giant ... or a possible title of this puzzle), you'd maybe expect three-word theme answers beginning with those letters, or answers having only one A and two Ts, in that order, but instead we have two answers with two As and three Ts, and one with exactly one A and two Ts. The answers themselves are fine, good even, in the case of ATOMICTHEORY (54A: Basis of particle physics), but overall, it's not a strong theme. Or am I missing something?
1A: Misgiving (QUALM), on the other hand, gets a strong B+. If it were at all humorous it would be in the As. And maybe it ought to be an A- anyway... I'll leave that up to you.

The fill has a number of better-than-average bits - VECTOR, NAPALM (35A: Incendiary weapon), HOAX, TRENCHES (38D: Soldiers' digs?) (Ha!), and KOALA are nice. Less nice are ELHI, APTNO, UAE, and IMET. I actually don't mind the common "name + roman numeral" convention, especially when, as here, the clue makes it worthwhile: LEOVII (34D: Pope said to have died from a heart attack while in bed with his mistress). Is that considered "pre-marital," "extra-marital," or something else? ... Why does anyone pay any attention to the Pope at all?

Didn't love HOODOO (46D: Bringer of bad luck), and would have preferred "voodoo," of course. LORAIN (42A: Ohio city on Lake Erie) and SPITZ (10D: Pointy-eared dog) were completely new to me, but crossed fairly.

Overall, not perfect, but not terrible.

- Horace


  1. 10:51
    I thought the theme was pretty good, with the first word of the theme answers beginning with "AT" and the second word beginning with "T," hence the ATANDT. It was a nice touch to a usually too-easy Tuesday. SPITZ is something that I, too, have never heard of. Interesting, but useless, trivia regarding KBTOYS. I, too, would have liked vOODOO better than HOODOO. MIKETYSON crossing ATHLETICTRAINER is OK, but probably not intentional. I never heard of LORAIN, Ohio.

    1. Ahhhh.... ok, the AT and T is slightly better. Thanks.