Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017, Andrew Zhou


This might be one of my favorite Sundays in a while, although it certainly played very easy. I finished it in a little over half my typical Sunday time. But the theme made me chuckle, and I thought it was carried out nearly flawlessly.

We get a set of idioms for how things might go badly in various ways. Taking the first word from each, you get a set of directions that might be found in a cooking manual, thus setting up the revealer, ARECIPEFORDISASTER. Very nicely done, with a perfect revealer.

The only issues I had with the list of idioms are these: first, MIXONESMETAPHORS feels so mild as a bad outcome compared to the others. The worst it will get you is a mild look of distaste, and when done intentionally, might even get you a laugh. And to top it, there's that "one's" in the middle of it, which doesn't show up in the other idioms.

My second issue is a total nitpick. SERVESTWOMASTERS is the only answer in that verb form. All the others are in I/you format, while this one is in he/she format. That just makes the final run of directions feel a little off: stir... mix... beat... pour... cut... ...serves?

The rest of the puzzle is reasonably smooth with only an annoying URBANII or a silly CTS here and there. I found most of the clues and answers to be very straightforward, with few misdirections to challenge me. 23A: Vertical part of a plane (YAXIS) took a second, in part because it crossed 3D: Prepare to take off (TAXI), which made me misinterpret the meaning of "plane" in the clue. I also took a moment or two around the crossing of GLAM and GNAR, which gets my least fave answer for today.

1A: "____ Davis Eyes," 1981 #1 hit (BETTE) - B. I am reminded of the Dire Straits lyric: "Don't know how you came to get those Bette Davis knees..."
Fave: OCTAVES (67D: Scales span them). Nicely done.

- Colum


  1. 15:28
    My best Sunday time so far. My parents being Jewish may have helped with LOX, KVETCH, UZIS, and ESCROW.
    I did also have some trouble with GNAR. But fortunately the M in GLAM did not cross MEATAX, so that helped at least.

  2. 31:25
    Holy moly, I thought my time was fast! Nice going Mr. Berman! I did not like GNAR at all, but let's see, my slowdown came in the middle of the puzzle, with GOTOWAR, WOO (I've never heard of a woo woo and would certainly never, ever drink one), and even TOXINS, which should've been a gimme, but I SO wanted cOloNS there, really. Any pope name that has a roman numeral after it is terrible. I filled in URBAN_I, but needed the AVIA cross to finish it. I, of course, liked YAXIS, COSECANT, STAR and NASA the best, but ALAS, did not love STENT or (sorry Richard) KPOP. The CAMO went up at the YBH last weekend! It's on!

  3. This sure did go by quickly, and I agree about the off-putting third person verb form, but also agree about the hilarity of the theme overall.