Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017, Steve Overton


I am reminded of the old joke:

A gentleman arrives at Logan Airport in Boston, having planned his vacation in New England for months. He gets in a taxi to go to his hotel, and asks the cabbie, "Hey, can you tell me a good place to go get SCROD?" The cabbie lifts an eyebrow, and replies, "Mister, I've heard that question a number of times, but you're the first person to ask it in the pluperfect subjunctive!"
( is my source for this version.)

I would have finished this much faster, except I had entered the peculiar choice of OVERTurE at 12D: Suggestion (OVERTONE). That, combined with the incredible smashup of consonants at the crossing of FREEDVD and TVGUIDE made getting GIJANE near impossible, especially as I did not recognize Jordan as a woman's name.

I broke in with RATEDX, having seen "rated G" in Wednesday's puzzle. But I got nowhere with that (although in retrospect, WAX is pretty obvious). I restarted in the SW corner with ENERO having rejected "The Tramp" for 34D: Lady's counterpart (NOBLEMAN).

Cute to have DREAMON crossing NOCANDO. The whole middle section slanted to the negative, with the DTS, DREAD, and DONOT, not to mention 38D: "You'd better brace yourself for this ..." (BADNEWS).

I've never heard of SANGAREE before. The word apparently comes from Spanish "sangre", meaning blood, which is the same root word for sangria, but the two drinks are definitely not the same. Anyway, I'm not into spiced wine, so I doubt I'll be trying it any time soon.

1A: Was almost, with "on" (BORDERED) gets a C-. I hate these clues that have "with" some word. Love DERRINGDO. Very much loved 7D: Beam's path? (EARTOEAR). And DEWYEYED is an outstanding edge of the puzzle word. Thumbs up here. Debut puzzle yet again! Impressive stuff.

- Colum


  1. 22:40

    Boy, this was tough! I had a terrible time in the SE, even though I got DERRINGDO (awesome) and MANSE fairly quickly. SENTENCE (10 years, for example) should have been easier, but like you, SANGAREE was tough. I thought it was a cute way of making it more "casual" than sangria (whatever that means) by having it rhyme with "dungaree." ... Anyway... I liked this puzzle a lot. Tough cluing and unusual entries. Great debut.

    1. Oh, and I forgot to mention MICE (They click), which was my last answer, and I only got that I because I finally figured out SIXGUN. And realizing why MICE was right took at least a few beats. Whew!

  2. 50:48
    I remember back in earlier times when MICE referred only to the rodents, with the plural of the computer mouse being "mouses." This took a typical amount of time for me for a Saturday. Too bad there wasn't a pairing of CLINK and FOLSOM, and I didn't love RENTACAR (11D Dollar, for one), but other than that, this was a decent debut puzzle. Good crossing of SYNOD and LETUSPRAY.