Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017, David Steinberg


There's a story about Glenn Gould discovering that he could practice piano most efficiently while there was a vacuum cleaner running in the same room. And just yesterday, frequent-commenter Mr. Berman posted a very good solve time despite repeated interruptions from his boss. Well, today, as I worked on this puzzle, Frannie was switching back and forth between the Nightly Business Report and Charlie Rose, and as it turned out, I plowed through it like a bulldozer through sand. Sure, at the ACPT I was annoyed beyond distraction by the clicking of a camera shutter - maybe what would have been better is if the person sitting next to me had been watching TV. (Don't even think about it, Berman.)

And so what do I remember? A generally positive reaction. I loved WHATADUMP (17A: "This place looks horrible!"), and that phrase is, sadly, kind of appropriate for the ACROPOLIS (14A: Literally, "highest city") (really? it's not just "high city?"). No, that's too strong. Even in RUNES, err... ruins, the ACROPOLIS is still amazing.

There was some hesitation about whether an A or an E were needed in GENTLEMENSCLUB (19A: Site where top hats and canes might be checked at the door), but finally, MIME (7D: Act out) gave the answer. I enjoyed the informality of GODEEP (30A: Throw a long football pass), the formality of WONT (61A: Practice) (which my dad is wont to say). 10D: Bottom of the sea? (HULL) brought a smile, CITYMAP (39D: Concierge's handout), too, made me smile, as I remembered receiving these in so many different cities... ahh, travel... CRANNY, SKORT, STOOP, ... lots of good stuff.

1A: Cuckoo (DAFT)... hmmm, I don't know. How about a B. DAFT is a decent word.
Favorite: TINE (37A: Food sticker). I think I needed three crosses!
Least: XERO (51D: Prefix with -graphic) This is crossword-worthy?

There was some glue - ENTR, ANI, SSN, MSS... - but nothing egregious. Overall, I liked this one quite a bit.

- Horace


  1. 26:07
    Boss nowhere to be found, so I blame today result solely on myself.

    At least three times, I found myself running through the alphabet to figure out a single square (by the way, does that ever work? I think my lifetime success rate on this tactic is probably around 25% and there is nothing as dreadful as that feeling when you get to W and realize X, Y, and Z never seem to come through for you).

    Tonight I will try the Saturday puzzle while the better half is flipping between Criminal Minds and Castle to see if it works out better than this disaster.

    Side note: I have been playing golf for 30 years, and the ball does not BOUNCESOUT of the hole. Ever.

  2. 9:41
    I think BOUNCESOUT is referring more to a basketball? But it's true we don't usually call a basketball hoop a hole. So maybe not.

    This is a well done puzzle without much that's brilliant though. I do love PEABRAINED.

  3. 31:14
    This was a fun puzzle with, as Horace mentions, not much junk. CLOD (39A Chucklehead) is both amusingly clued and a funny answer. SUTRA is a bit risque, although not necessarily by itself.