Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017, Jacob Stulberg

10:33 (FWOE)

I spent a long time staring at the empty crossing of BAREXAM and RENT. And why? Because I had entered BEAUs down below, rather than the technically but really only in French correct BEAUX.

Anyway, WHY did the [CHICKEN] cross the [ROAD]? We don't exactly get an answer in this puzzle, except that there is a graphic representation of a road diagonally in the middle of the grid, with the question crossing it. I put the fowl in each square, rather than the street. What did you do?

[CHICKEN] across, [ROAD] down. The rebus squares were symmetrically placed, just not in typical locations. I much preferred the across answers, such as [CHICKEN]OFTHESEA and NOSPRING[CHICKEN], which was the answer I actually broke the theme on. The best crossing however, comes at PLAY[CHICKEN] and [ROAD]RUNNER. Poor Wile E. Coyote. Was the darned bird that tasty looking? Seemed scrawny to me.

The long down answers in the NW and SE corners are okay. I like 3D: First, second and third, exactly (TRIFECTA). POLOBALL is fine, INSANEST is just not a term I'd use. I think I'd feel more comfortable saying "most insane". RENEGADE was another answer it took me some time to get because of an atypical plural, in this case NOVAE (where I had -S for a while).

23A: Polish target (TOENAIL) was a tough get. Part of me was looking for a hidden capital where none existed. The rest had a hard time seeing somebody "targeting" their nails with nail polish.

1A: Decides one way or the other (OPTS) - D+. Too common.
Fave: SIDLE (64A: Move furtively, in a way). Fun word.
Least fave: Probably SAC, although there were others in the running.

I'm noticing more and more stuff I was not fond of, so I'm going to end here. I liked the theme. Also, I found it odd how quickly I filled in 53D: "Le Coq ____" (DOR). That's d'or, as in "made of gold". An opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov that I have never seen, although I have heard music from it in the form of a suite.

- Colum


  1. 17:10
    It occurs to me now that "Le Coq DOR," for which I could only think of "sportif" could be bonus theme material.

    I, too, had BEAUs at first, and even after correcting that, had lAwEXAM for a while, which did not help in the North.

    I went with CHICKEN, as well, having once heard that, given a choice, one should always go with the Across answer.

    Pretty fun Thursday.

  2. 16:26
    I also had BEAUS for quite a while. I guess 5 years of French taken about 30 years ago doesn't amount to much. Although I am pleased that there is a lot of French to be found in crosswords in general. And sports. My two saving graces.

    Took about a minute deciding what to put in the rebus squares, once I got the theme figured out early on. I did CHICKENROAD for some and ROADCHICKEN for others. I wonder what combinations they accepted? Perhaps I'll never know. Oh well.

  3. 28:07
    Count me among the BEAUs crowd. I went with CHICKEN in the rebus squares, and that wasn't accepted by Across Lite, but I checked and those were the only "wrong" squares. Favorite: AXIS, of course (14A x, y or z follower). Nice, unusual clue for MOE, though, and I needed all of the crosses to get it.