Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017, Matthew Sewell


I came close to CRUSHINGIT: I had all but the NW corner filled in within 7:30, but struggled for quite some time with these entries:

  • ALCAZAR - never heard of it, but it makes sense.
  • 27A: 86 or 99 (AGENT) - referencing Get Smart, am I right?
  • 19A: Sheet music abbr. (ARR) - so many possibilities here, I needed all the crosses to get it.
  • 4D: Some patrons: Abbr. (STS) - I still don't understand this. States? Saints? I think the latter.
  • 3D: Wrongly assumed (USURPED) - this is so good on so many levels. I loved it!
In any case, those held me up for four minutes! And that's why it's a Friday.

I broke in with ECHO, and then probably my favorite and least favorite answer at the same time: 6D: "The ponytail's hipster cousin," per GQ (MANBUN). 

I looked at ENGAGEMENTPARTY for a long time, trying to understand why the bride and groom to be were trying to become a celebration. That's another really good clue.

Anybody here play NBAJAM? I sure did. Big heads, basketballs on fire, shattering backboards. Good old-school fun.

Hope knew NELLIE immediately upon hearing the clue. It's nice to have an expert of old TV and books. I know Frannie is her own expert, but if she ever needs to, she can probably turn to her sister for instant access.

38D: What motivates people to get to first base during a game? (KISSCAM). Yup. That's awesome.

So while some of the stuff was a bit less fascinating, or frankly incomprehensible (ETO, I'm looking at you), there was enough great stuff that I liked this puzzle.

Oh, yeah. 1A: Walk all over (ABUSE) - C+. Wanted AmblE. Didn't quite work. I downgraded the answer for the unpleasant connotations. The same way I didn't really like IMALIVE.

- Colum

P.S. Huygens: SIX. So close.


  1. 11:06
    Yes on Get Smart. It's funny, I put the other number clue (10A: 88 or 98 (OLDS)) in immediately, but needed to think a little harder on 27A. Mmmm.... 99.... And speaking of espionage, ETO is the European Theater of Operations, isn't it? Or something very like. And I think you're right about the STS. It's gotta be "saints." And I am glad you didn't even reference my least favorite answer of all, because the less said about 44D, the better!

    As you say - plenty of fun stuff to outweigh the bad. So far so good on the ol' Turn.

  2. 20:09
    I never heard of, or played, NBAJAM. COMENOW is nicely clued, as is DETENTION. No big surprises for me here, with a typical Friday time.

  3. 18:58
    Hardest for me was the Z as it could have been several other things such as S or T