Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday, April 22, 2017, Adam Fromm


I loved this puzzle. I went through the whole thing again just now looking for rough spots, because after I finished I couldn't recall any. I found SAYA (44A: "Don't ____ thing"), and ILEA (5D: Guts, in part), which, after looking it up, seems a little too tricky. Our resident MD may want to weigh in, but when I hear "guts," I think of it as a collective noun specific to just one person. In each person, there is a part of the small intestine called the "Ileum." So to pluralize ileum to ILEA means that "guts" has to work as a plural collective noun, and I'm not sure that's quite normal.

But enough about that - accepting ILEA means that we get the lovely HEBRIDES (1A: Skye, the Small Isles, etc.) (a giveaway on a Saturday!), AQUILINE (15A: Eaglelike), JUKEBOX (17A: Brown-bag lunch item) (Not in my day!), and JACKASSTHEMOVIE (19A: 2002 "documentary" with "Don't try this at home" contents). That's a very nice NW corner! Being old and knowing RICKSPRINGFIELD (4D: Singer with a recurring role on "General Hospital") helped out in that region. Slowing me down, though, was my quick use of an alternate spelling of HAJJI (1D: Faithful pilgrim).

Everywhere you look there are strong mid-length entries and good clues. I'm sorry I started this review off looking for trouble spots, because really, it's pretty great. CUFF (41A: Strike sharply) is uncommonly good. CAREWORN (54A: Bowed with adversity), BADIDEA (35A: "No, you don't want to do that"), BITEME (40A: "Drop dead, loser"), SHODDY (57A: Third-rate), RODEO (25D: What may involve the calf muscles) (Ha!), MAXIM (28D: Saw), PILEUP (53A: Jam producer), TIPSY (43D: A little tight)... all good.

1A: HEBRIDES - A. Put "Decoy Bride" on your Netflix queue and watch it some night when you're in a good mood. It's silly, but adorable.
Favorite: END (33D: Patootie). So silly on a Saturday!
Least: MINICAR (38D: Subcompact). I've said it before and, knowing me, I'll say it again, I just don't buy this as either a generic term or the name of a specific car. Yuck.

OK, so it's not absolutely perfect, and I don't want to give Mr. Fromm a swelled EGO, but I say this one SHINED.

- Horace


  1. 28:36
    Sheesh, and I thought that MY time was good. I was slowed down by the NE, but other than that I made pretty good time, getting a toehold in the SE and moving clockwise around the grid (except that I finished the west before the NE). SEXTAPE is great, and with CAREWORN I think of the "wizard" speaking with Dorothy just prior to her running home before the tornado as he describes Aunt Em's face. ZANILY is excellent, but AXILLA is gross, right Colum? Too bad that CHEROKEE is clued as a product. BITEME is fantastic, but how about that SW, where we have URICH, EDIEFALCO and RICKSPRINGFIELD (crossing PREPPY) all side-by-side? Unusual, isn't it?

  2. 19:48
    I also enjoyed this puzzle quite a bit. First decent 1A we've had in what feels like quite a while. Knowing nothing of HEBRIDES, I tried ANTILLES but gave it up easily thereafter. All four of the 15-letter clues were gettable for me, so it was a good day - the first I've had all week.

  3. 11:40 (Completed with my Mother)
    This puzzle zipped by, and would have been quicker if I hadn't had a brainfart on RICKSPRINGFIELD. I just couldn't bring it out. The NW zipped in, as you said.