Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017, Pawel Fludzinski


Overall, a solid puzzle with a several areas of satisfying obfuscation. We start off with a nice stack of tens in the north west corner - natural answers that are well clued without being totally obvious - at least to me. In fact, the 3D/19A cross, was a Natick for me, thus the Assist. I ran into Horace at the bus stop after work and he supplied the missing P. I'm unfamiliar with Mr. TAPPER, not being a CNN watcher, nor did I know that Baht was the currency of Thailand. Even if I had known that, there was the additional problem of not knowing that KIP is the Laotian analogue of Baht.  Also in that neck of the woods, OLEO stumped me for a long time - possibly because I am about as conversant with margarines as I am with CNN. I quite enjoyed 28A. End of a letter (SERIF). Other clues of note in that section were 8D. Spreads out in a park? (PICNICS) and 9D. Euro forerunner (ECU) - kicking it old school.

I got right into the north east thanks to esteemed puzzle reviewer Colum Amory's children with whom I once watched the YouTube video "Actual Cannibal Shia LABEOUF" several times. 13D. Cayenne's hotter cousin (HABANERO) was no match for me.

I was able to get a toe hold in the south east with NIL and DOLOOP. I am not a big fan of ETERNE, bu the triple tens in that corner were all solid. I know Horace dropped in GAMETHEORY in 61A. I'm guessing Huygens and Mr. Amory did as well. Going door to door? as a clue for SIDESWIPED (67A) was a nice twist.

I was stuck in the south west for a long time with nothing but ATIT and ARTS, and I was sure ARTS couldn't be correct because the clue mentioned both mime and puppetry. Kidding! You'd think that 55A. The house of Versace? (LACASA) would have been a gimmie for me, but I overlooked the 'The' to my almost eternal detriment. I am sorry to say I've never heard of 2015 Literature Nobelist Alexievich. SVETLANA was a guess that fortunately turned out to be correct. I thought 64A. Narrow margin (NOSE) was good.

DUMPSTERFIRE cut a nice figure through the middle of the grid.



  1. 14:23
    I enjoyed this one! Thought first of Tycho Brahe instead of COPERNICUS. Sure, Tycho had the planets orbiting the Sun, but he had the sun orbiting the Earth. Psycho. And I wish I had been able to come up with VITRUVIANMAN without quite so many crosses. At least I put in the final "MAN" immediately, and, as Frannie so nicely points out, I did drop in GAMETHEORY. I read up on that a bit long before that Nash movie came out, but it gets real complicated...

    Lastly, I got FUTURES, as I'm sure we all did, because of the movie "Trading Places." Hah!

  2. 9:07
    Excellent puzzle. I love the Shia LABEOUF clue, but am very glad I already had the ___EO__ in place, or I would have spelled it incorrectly for certain. I love the trio of GAMETHEORY, AREWEALONE, and SIDESWIPED. Best area of the puzzle.

  3. 21:41 (FWOE)
    Unfortunately, I didn't get the LABEOUF thing, and thought that nABEOUF was perfectly reasonable, as nEHI is often seen in crosswords. Anyway, I did drop GAMETHEORY in off of the clue, and COPERNICUS went right in, too. Like Horace, I needed quite a few crosses for VITRUVIANMAN, and all of them for SVETLANA. Too bad INIGO wasn't clued with Montoya.

  4. 14:00
    OK, so we were sitting at dinner and somehow the daily puzzle came up. I mentioned how "Shia who's not a Muslim" hadn't fooled me for a second. It fooled the boys, but only because I pronounced it like the clue hoped I would. They groaned when I pronounced it as LABEOUF would, they knowing him from Indiana Jones, et al. But we had, like Horace and Huygens, had difficulty coming up with VITRUVIANMAN, even with several crosses in place. So we asked the boys if they knew what Da Vinci's man in a circle illustration is called. You'll be pleased that both knew it, no crosses, so to speak.