Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017, Lewis Rothlein


I couldn't finish the puzzle this morning before this GIRL had to get GONE to work. I picked it up again after a two-cocktail dinner to celebrate Horace's birthday. Being ABIT tipsy seemed to help and I quickly made great strides, but I still got stuck in two places. I didn't know the Famed deli seen in Woody Allen's "Manhattan" or the __cards (tools used in ESP testing). I really wished I had ESP because the letter was not coming to me from my own brain. In the end, I did get it from another source. Horace, sitting near by, told me it was Z. My last remaining problem square was the cross at Capital of Swaziland and What may keep a model's weight down? When I said as much to Horace and he revealed that the model clue referred to a different kind of model, which gave it away. But, I suppose it was for the best or I might not be writing the review even now.

In re: BALSAMIC, I didn't love this theme. I like a MICDROP as much as the next guy, but I would rather have seen theme answers with the letters MIC dropped out instead of dropped in. I did find the way the answer words were transformed by the addition of MIC rather fascinating. There were a few KTWO moments, with COMICAL in particular. It's perfectly cromulent, but because I started with COAL, I read the theme answer as co-mike-al and almost rejected it as a non-word, but then realized it is a word. Favorite-wise, I'm split between POLEMIC and FORMICA. Going from POLE to POLEMIC is cool, but FORMICA is a pretty good word.

ECCE some of the clues I'll SKIMOFF as noteworthy:
44A. Something that's long and steep (LIMO) - excellent.
19A. What may keep a model's weight down? (BALSA)- tricky.
43A. Not getting up until after 10? (KOED) - a knock out.
54D. Metal containers (ORES) - nice twist on an old favorite.

Also, how about the throw back to "Baby IMA Want You"?

Stuff that was a little SPACY for me:
Kicking off the puzzle with Hosp. procedure (MRI) at 1A - lame.
Visiting the nation's capital, for short (INDC) - impolitic.
Start of a Beatles title (OBLA) - blah.



  1. 11:45
    Stared at the cross of SKIMOFF and KOED for the longest time with that square the only one left. I didn't want to commit to the K without being sure (going by ACPT rules, those 30 seconds didn't cost me). Once I put it in, I got the joke in the clue. Tough one! I very much liked 17D: Something that may be found in a belt (ASTEROID).

  2. 18:29
    I got stuck on the same two crosses as Frances - MBABANE/NENE and ZABARS/ZENER. Also spent way too long in the NE corner. Just couldn't get the POLEMIC/MICRON cross as I thought the theme was just that the words had MIC in them.

  3. 39:00 (FWOE)
    I had to run the alphabet, all the way through it turns out, for the ZABARS/ZENAR cross, so that's an error. It took a little while to figure the theme out, which accounts for the long-ish time for me for a Thursday. I have to agree with Colum regarding ASTEROID; clearly the best. The clue for ENDNOTE didn't sit exactly right with me. I liked that FATTER, SKIMOFF and SCRIMPS were in the same quadrant.

  4. 21:57 with​ two errors

    So I was SNARED by ZABARS/ZENER and I EEN had GOrEGIRL. Which might be a better movie title than GONEGIRL but I suppose the latter has the advantage of being the movie they actually made.

    Good puzzle, though. Lots of clever clues. High points included BRAN (because who wouldn't like a nice food word?), LIMO, and even TSP, just because I thought it was a better than average clue. Liked the theme, especially BASAMIC (both for the misdirection and just being a neat word).

  5. 15:19
    Speaking of good clues, how 'bout "Shamble, e.g." for GAIT, "It comes at the end of a sentence" for FREEDOM (I had "release" at first), or "What it takes decades to grow" for OLD? Guffaw.

    Too bad there's not some test like an LSAT, but for MBAs that could have been worked into the clue for MBABANE.