Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Emily Carroll

0:07:46 (F.W.T.E.)

I filled this in extremely quickly - for a Wednesday - but perhaps that was because I just put in whatever I wanted, which, as it turned out, was not always correct. To wit, I wasn't quite on the same wavelength with 49A: Existential statement (IAM) and tried "IsM," which I had convinced myself was possible. And right next door, instead of OTS (50A: Bonus periods, for short), I entered "eTS," thinking who knows what. So those were my problems. Interesting, I know.

So what about the puzzle itself? It's a circle theme, which - to this non-constructor - seems like an easy way to cram a theme onto what is otherwise pretty much a themeless puzzle. Ideally, this would allow exciting, unrestrained, longer fill. For me, HOMEINVADER (28A: Unwanted guest) and MARXBROTHER (44A: Any one of the stars of "Duck Soup") do not exactly fit that bill, as it were. Furthermore, who the hell is Bill Walsh? [OK, yes, he was a coach, but he's not exactly a household name.)

1A: "Don't be such a baby!" (MANUP) - C-. I've always disliked this phrase.
Favorite: SPANK (66A: Beat handily)
Least: ALERO (33D: Old Olds) It's time to retire this. Certain old cars are classics, but this never was.

I smiled at 25D: "Be ____ ..." (request starter) (ADEAR), because I this is much more natural to me than yesterday's "Be an angel," and there were a few other things, like SWAMP (31D: Overwhelm), DENSE (26D: Not too quick on the uptake), and INEPT (16A: All thumbs) that were ok, but for the most part, all I could focus on were the proper names, product names, partials, and glue. I won't bother to list them all here.

Onward to The Turn!

- Horace


  1. 6:03
    I was impressed by the density of the theme, with each answer just two rows apart (and the bonus long acrosses adjacent to the outer two). All down answers with the exception of the trio of 3-letter answers in the NE and SW cross at least one themer, with three answers crossing three themers. ATANDT was a hard get. I liked having both MARGE and WILMA in the grid. I liked it better than you, I think. But I get that you're HOTFOR the turn...

  2. 8:38
    I also liked this one a bit more than Horace. I'll take anything with CANAVERAL and the aforementioned SPANK in there, even though the clue for the latter could have been more on the blue side. HOTFOR is excellent and I never minded a circle theme too much. THRALL is nicely clued.