Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017, Daniel Larsen


Happy Valentine's day! Unless you're a ROUE, RAPT when he SEES a PLUS-size model, we're flat out of luck for representation of this once religious, now aggressively secular holiday.

Instead, we get a humorous take on ELMERFUDD's speech disability, with standard phrases reinterpreted with wacky clues based on how he would say them. Thus, a treehouse becomes 17A: Small, cute, residence? (TWEEHOUSE). Clearly the best of the theme answers is 51A: What wakes everyone up in the morning at the duck pond? (QUACKOFDAWN). I am reminded of the crazy duck from the movie Babe.

The NE and SW corners are nice and chunky, with four nice 6-letter answers in a stack. Otherwise, because of the six theme answers, there are really no major down answers of interest. Perhaps my favorite answer in the whole puzzle comes at 50A: "Stop joshin' me!" (AWGOON), which as I looked over the grid just now, seemed like a cry to your bodyguard: "Aw, goon!"


So, anyway.

1A: Helps (AIDS) gets a D because it looks like the epidemic of the 1980s.

But, really, the big news is that this puzzle is young Mr. Larsen's debut in the NYT, at age 13! Congratulations! We look for big things from you in years to come.

- Colum


  1. I was always TAUGHT that a puzzle this theme-dense would end up as a STEAMing pike of junk. But I didn't find much to get UPSET about or start a DUEL over. I mean, the clue for SSN seems a bit off (not a figure, is it?), a few other quibbles, but no big complaints. I liked the clue for CUBA and have no desire to argue with the DALAI lama. Seeing SAMSON just makes me think of the Baccanale from the Saint-Saens opera. That's a nice image.

  2. 4:32

    This puzzle had me chuckling all the way through. HAH! Excellent debut for the young man.

  3. 7:57
    Wow...13, huh? Excellent puzzle for someone that age, and an appropriate theme, although who watches Bugs Bunny anymore (sad as that may be)? WHISKEYMOVE is a bit off, but since it's about whiskey, it's OK by me. We just saw Annie OAKLEY in a movie at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers shooting at, I believe, light bulbs tossed into the air a few feet away from her. The footage was a bit grainy, so it was difficult to see whether she actually was able to hit the targets, but we assume that she did.