Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017, Tracy Gray


The only one of these mild oaths, or "@#$!," that I knew off the bat was SHAZBOT (... from Mork), but at least one other (HORSEHOCKEY) (... from Colonel Sherman Potter) sounded familiar. It makes me wonder whether Deputy Dawg was, in fact, the first to say DAGNABIT, and the final two were new to me. So the theme fell a little flat for me, but it certainly seems like one that others may enjoy more.

The puzzle starts off with a cheese often found in crosswords, EDAM, but I give it a grade of B today, due to the interesting clue: 1A: Sweet-curd cheese. I had never heard this term, which is used for cheeses that are made using only rennet, and no "starter bacteria." Being less acidic, the sweetness of the milk is allowed to come through more fully than in other types of cheese. Examples of "sweet-curd" cheeses also include Asiago, Muenster, and Gouda.

"Difficult past tense alert" on 19A: Hid from the cops, say (LAYLOW). It would have been easier, I think, if clued in the present, but it works either way, which is cool. I was also amused ('though not tricked) by 63A: Abode that's abuzz (APIARY), 66A: Snowsuit attachment (MITTEN), and GASBAGS (45D: Long-winded sorts). Furthermore, I love any mention of the SYCAMORE (39D: Tree that sheds its bark).

On the down side, we have AZO, HSN, ICEE, ALGA (3D: Bit of birdbath gunk) (Eeeuw!), JEB, and RHOMBI. Cool word but awkward plural. On second thought, scratch that, it's not in the "down side" column.

Overall, I guess I found it kinda Wednesdayish. How's that for a kwality review?

- Horace


  1. 5:50 (FWOE)
    I knew none of the curses, which meant that I had to guess at the cross of SHAZBOT and AZO. I went with M, which in retrospect is silly, because AmO is no dye. Meanwhile, in other news, I couldn't identify CORONA from ___ONA. There's some ANTIC crossword hijinks for you.

  2. I did surprisingly well considering lots of people's names I didn't know (well, and themers although those were a bit easier to guess given some crosses). As for the rest, RUMORHASIT that you are unlikely to see an EMU along the NILE wearing a SKI MITTEN.

  3. 7:35
    I remembered only SHAZBOT off of the clue, but DAGNABIT, HORSEHOCKEY and OHBARNACLES were familiar once the crosses started coming. RICCI's Lizzie Borden show was pretty good, and I've always liked her anyway. Rennet is unnecessary, so EDAM would have gotten an F from me, especially since it's such crosswordese. CRONYN is well-known enough, but that's reaching back a bit for some, maybe. Good Wednesday.