Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, Peter A. Collins

5:54 (FWOE)

Hoo boy. I am of two very distinct minds about today's puzzle. On the one hand, there are four excellent non-theme down answers and six okay theme answers. On the other hand:


That's a lot of out and out true groaning style crosswordese. I mean, stuff from Maleska era crosswording. And I left out a number of borderline answers.

The theme itself is fine. That's to be said in the style of my daughter's high school style "It's fine" phrasing, where a certain degree of suppressed rage is included. I mean, yeah, each one is a rhyming phrase, but there's nothing all that special about any of them. They're pretty blah.

So with six theme answers, the fill inevitably suffered. But at least we got 3D: Takeout food together with a Netflix movie, maybe (CHEAPDATE), 10D: Obsolescent desktop accessories (ROLODEXES), 31D: Brothels (BORDELLOS), and 34D: Class that covers Reconstruction and Prohibition (USHISTORY). I liked each of those, and thus the puzzle was elevated somewhat.

In other news, the puzzle not only takes an opportunity to OGLE, but to LEERAT. While there is no gender associated with the shared clue (Look upon with lust), don't you just feel the male gaze?

1A: Social adroitness (TACT) - B-. It's fine.
Fave: KOALA (18D: Qantas Airways symbol). This was by default because Koalas are so dang cute.
Least fave: NEWT (60D: Politico Gingrich). Any other way it could have been clued? Any?

My error came at ARIL / AEROS. I automatically filled in the other crosswordese, namely AnIL. Never eaten the Nestlé bar.

- Colum


  1. 6:58
    This was an ODD bag, but at least TRAVOLTA and KEATON are in there, no? And who doesn't love a MOREL? With the clue, AEROS was inferable, even though I'd never eaten one, either. The ARIL/anil thing is understandable; I often need to pause when choosing between the two since both appear too often and neither appear in anyone's normal conversation. ROLODEXES is my favorite long down, even though it's plural and even though BORDELLOS is represented (also, unfortunately, plural). Nice that DOZE and APNEA are entries, and that I went to KNOTT's Berry Farm in 1973, if I remember correctly. The KLINK answer makes me think that it's too bad we couldn't have a "Hogan's Heroes" themed puzzle.

  2. 5:30
    I think I've had AEROS, but were they ever called anything else? I seem to remember Nestlé's commercials showing a regular chocolate bar being puffed up by air. Anyone?

    Anil is the dye, right? I'll try to start working that into my normal conversation. Come to think of it, maybe ARIL would be easier to work in...

  3. I like to focus on the positives, so this will be a brief comment (for all the reasons given by Colum). I was quite tickled to see KOALA, both because it is just a neat answer and because kangaroo just wasn't going to fit (neither was platypus, echidna, nor a variety of other choices based on knowing the location of Qantas but not its logo). Oh, and MOREL. That's just delicious, and exotic enough to be interesting, and (I hope) common enough to be generally known.

  4. The QANTAS symbol is a flying kangaroo. The clue is straight out wrong.