Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday, May 14, 2017, Will Nediger


Well, I finished with one error, but it wasn't the one I'd thought I'd finished with. I stared for quite some time at the crossing of SAUK and ATESTS. And stared. What the what? I knew that _TESTS had to be either A-, H-, or N-. And none of them made any sense with S_UK. I played around with whether BUSS was correct. In the end I stuck the A in, and got the message that I had an error.

Which was at the crossing of EDINA and ELEA. I should have known better than to put an A in there. After all these years of crosswording, both of those are hoary enough to be in my wheelhouse, but I missed it anyway. But there are two prime examples of potential Naticks in the same puzzle, which doesn't bode well.

The theme is pretty good, actually. Two word phrases that start with "top", "middle", "bottom", "left", or "right" are placed in the puzzle such that the initial word can be inferred from where the answer is found. Thus, [LEFT]SCHOOL, [MIDDLE]ENGLISH, [TOP]BANANAS. That there are nine pairs of crossing answers is impressive. Since many of the answers are the same number of letters, there was some room for playing around in the creation of the puzzle, but still.

That being said, I kind of thought the answers in the center of the puzzle should have been... well, "central" rather than just "middle" again. Also, [MIDDLE]RANGE is just not a phrase that anyone uses to describe the Mezzo-Soprano. I'm not convinced by [BOTTOM]BRACKET. Otherwise they're all acceptable.
So much younger than in Trading Places
There's a moderate amount of less than brilliant fill, but some good stuff as well. I don't like ISSUER, ASHINE (ugh), or REMAPS - those re- words always feel ad hoc.

On the plus side, 116A: Aisle's head? (SILENTA) got me again. DRASTIC is a great word. 55A: Knightstick? (LANCE) just missed. There was no real misdirection here, because the K in Knight couldn't be left out.

1A: Necklace parts (CLASPS) - C. That plural.
Fave: CHASSE (13D: Gliding step, in ballet). My dance daughter would be so proud of me for getting this.
Least fave: PRICKS (33D: Syringe sensations) - oh, the missed opportunity here. Plus, how many sensations is that syringe giving me?

- Colum


  1. 29:35
    I sat there staring at the same two crosses noted above by our leader. After some deliberation, I was lucky enough to guess right on both of them.
    I also didn't like [bottom] bracket, but other than that the puzzle was reasonably straightforward and good enough for a Sunday.

  2. 35:27
    It's well-known that this is slightly too fast for a Sunday time for my tastes, but the puzzle was quite enjoyable nonetheless. I seem to remember getting stuck on one or two areas, but I see no notes on it. VAGARY is a great way to end a puzzle (as opposed to CDV on the "down" side). I never knew the trivia about "My Darling Clementine" and the OKCORRAL.