Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017, Andy Hinz


I'm still floating on cloud nine after last night's game. I mean, come on. That was the most amazing thing I've EVER seen in sports. And that includes the Red Sox coming back from down 3 games to none in 2004.

So, yeah. Crossword puzzles. Monday. Got it.

Cute theme today: HIDDENCAMERA is the revealer for three examples of phrases with brand names of cameras in them. In all three cases, the camera brands are well known, and each name is split across more than one word of the phrase. ICANONLYHOPE and PRISONYARD are both reasonable answers. I don't love SPUTNIKONE. I guess I never thought of there being so many (there are three officially called Sputnik, with a multitude of others that the West called Sputnik as well). So it's acceptable.

If there's a downside though, it's all those brandnames. We here at Horace and Frances (featuring me) don't love to see so much commercialism in the puzzle. But I can look past that. Especially when there's the unexpected minitheme in the down answers: ESCAPEROUTE and NEARESTEXIT. That was fun. Also BASMATI RICE is tasty.

On the other hand, there's EPICS, ERIKS, and ERINS. I hate pluralized proper nouns. And nobody likes CHOLERA, even if it's clued using Gabriel García Márquez. Plus MTWTF, which just looks like it's asking us "what the f...?"
Here are some ERIKS for you!
1A: Submissive (MEEK) gets a C+.

On the whole I liked it, despite some blemishes. Further, I see this is a debut puzzle for Mr. Hinz, so welcome and good job!

- Colum


  1. 6:14
    The theme was fine, not great. I mean, a circled square theme? I did like SPUTNIKONE and LUNAR. ASPICS (even though plural) reminds me, fondly, of King Crimson's "Lark's Tongue in Aspic," so that's OK, but I agree with Colum on CHOLERA, and when will we start seeing BERG clued with composer Alban? Probably not on a Monday, I guess. Nice straightforward cluing for NUDE (64A Naked).

  2. The theme was fun (I noticed early on the circles were brands but didn't ask myself what kind of brands before I got to the revealer).

    But for me the high point was EATCAKE. I don't know why. Maybe because I'm hungry as I solve?

    Oh, and put me in the pro-CHOLERA camp. As a puzzle answer, that is, not as a thing in the world. Although the story of John Snow trying to figure out how it was being transmitted in the London outbreak of 1854 is a good story. But mostly I just think it is a nice, interesting, unusual but not obscure, word.

  3. 4:18

    My old-school photographer persona bristled at the inclusion of "Sony" as a HIDDENCAMERA (I would have preferred "Leica," or "Pentax," or even "Mamiya"), but, well, they are a well-established player in the digital market, so I guess I should probably give it a rest.

    The clue for TESTER (Employee at a perfumery) seemed a bit random, but I liked the callback clue on 13D: Coin flipper at the Super Bowl, informally (REF). How 'bout those Patriots!?!