Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Bruce Haight


At first, I misunderstood the unusual feature of the puzzle, spelled out in circled letters, and thought the entire entries (almost anagrammatical!) themselves were supposed to be in alphabetical order, but when Horace clarified the situation for me, I cried OHO! The two features - a set of six words whose letters are in alphabetical order and a natural language phrase explaining that fact within the puzzle - make for a very nice combination.

In the mid west, I had the beginnings of two names I didn't know (29D. HGTV personality __Yip and 30D. Eddie ___, subject of "The French Connection", but I guessed ANNA for 43A. Actress Kendrick of "Pitch Perfect" and all ended well. :) The AVERSE was true for 28D. "Fernando" group, which I didn't have any trouble with (ABBA) and I loved BRAY (39A. Sound like a jackass). There were other excellent "B" words in the grid including 38D. [Wrong answer!] (BZZT) and 49D. Elegantly designed trinkets (BIJOUX). Other fan favorites are CHINTZ (45A. Fabric with a cheap sounding name), PRIOR (13D. Previous arrest, on a rap sheet) and IDLER (40D. Couch potato). The more I review it, the more the excellent clue-to-answer exactness of this puzzle, the more I am WOOed by it.

The puzzle has a number of three spots, but happily, very few are filled with abbreviations, and one old standby (AAS) was entertainingly clued (6A. Batteries in mice). My SUI generis FWOE today was at 44A. For some reason, I entered CsT for Summer hrs. in Chicago. GAR!

In the south west I couldn't imagine what the specific word for fixing a pump would be, but, as I'm sure Mr. Haight intended, I had the wrong kind of pump in mind. Ha!



  1. 15:04 with two errors

    So pretty much the same here (including the same wrong assumption about the theme for a while) except that I guessed AlmA instead of ANNA hence the errors. I did like RESOLE (can't remember whether I had any crosses but I saw through the misdirection pretty fast).

    The number of answers I simply have never heard of was a bit on the high side (CCRIDER, RUDI, plus of course ANNA​/VERN/EGAN). And I guess I this is crosswordese worth learning, but I only knew the Casablanca character as Ilsa, not as Ms LUND.

    I guess it is a bit too theme-dense (or maybe I just always say that when I don't like some fill)? But there are some good answers, like BZZT and GAR (no idea why, just always been fond of that fish). So it's okay.

  2. Thanks for your support guys. Hope to see you at the ACPT! Bruce

    1. Glad to hear you're going again. We're looking forward to it!

  3. 15:41
    Well, CDT is correct, no? I guessed ANNA, also, so all went fine for me, although, like Mr. Kingdon, I knew Ms. LUND only as Ilsa before this puzzle. I needed all of the crosses for BIJOUX, and the trivia regarding the king of diamonds at 70A (holding an AXE) was also news to me. Excellent theme and fun Wednesday.

    1. CDT is correct. Frannie must have tried CsT.

    2. Does it count as FWTE if I make a mistake in the review, too? :)

  4. 8:38
    Interesting and fun theme. I wonder if Mr. Haight tried at first to come up with an entire puzzle filled with such words. (hopefully not) Six is plenty, though, and it's an added bonus that they start with A, B, C. Cute.

    I like the nod to linguistics in NASALS (M and N, in pronunciation).

  5. 5:44
    Interesting is right. I like that all six answers are symmetrically placed. But I was confused initially because I thought 28A (AVERSE) was a theme answer and it didn't work. Definitely liked ELTONJOHN (SIR) being in the puzzle.