Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017, Paolo Pasco


Mmmmm... there's nothing like a really good themeless puzzle. Smooth and pleasantly warm, like the rye I'm drinking right now. Almost TOASTY, really!

I've come to expect lovely grids from this young composer, Mr. Pasco. And I have very little complain about in this one either. I broke in at 3D with UNHITCH, which let me to the really weird looking THEEU. It looks like something a teenager would say on viewing a zit in the mirror.

The NW stack is okay. I really like 1A: Call from a bar, maybe (DRUNKDIAL), which I give an A to. RENERUSSO has been seen a number of times before, although it took me some time to remember her as Odin's wife. And then YAHOOMAIL, which is a meh answer, but fine. I did not expect DRYERS at 1D, thinking instead about gymnastics for some time.

There were a number of connected and semi-connected answers in this puzzle. PEDALS and the less expected IVORY at 16A: Key ingredient? I was thinking key lime pie. Mmmmmm... there's something else that sounds good right now.

Also, I love 33A: Sci-fi shocker (DEATHRAY) and 59A: Real shocker (TASER). That's brilliant cluing, especially the twist hidden in the second clue. EVA and ISABEL are less inspiring.

FACEPALM is excellent. The SE stack is better than the NW one. I'm all in favor of BIKELANES. We don't have enough here in Albany. INAMOMENT is fairly neutral, but 65A: Crying for attention? (PITYPARTY) is very nice indeed. Trivia moment: who knew that Marcel Marceau's character was named BIP? Certainly not me.

There are a few less exciting moments, such as UTAHAN, BIS, and NEO, but overall I give it a thumbs up, especially for the shoutout to Parks and Recreation, PAWNEE, 76th best town in America to own a horse in.

- Colum


  1. 29:16 (FWOE)
    ATOMANT/JON cross, because I entered an "a" for JaN and didn't check the cross (I haven't seen "Game of Thrones" yet). Nice-looking grid, with some great stuff (in addition to what Colum mentions): ZEVON, EROTICA, DYNASTY and even TWEENER. REAMOUT, CANASTA, TOWIT and PARSE can be added to that list, as can the excellent 25D Grievance (BEEF).

  2. I, too, very much enjoyed this puzzle. I think it took me about twenty minutes, but I don't know for sure, because when I changed devices mid-solve, the time started over again. Anyway, I like the grid, and I like all the answers already cited above.