Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017, Paul Hunsberger


Wednesday faster than Tuesday? And that's even with not understanding the theme until I was finished with the whole thing and went back to look at the clues. So almost all of my theme answers were filled in by crosses, until the entirety could be surmised by the patterns.

I actually like the concept of the theme: two word phrases are set up in order from top to bottom such that the second word of each phrase links to the first word of the next one in another well accepted phrase. Thus: DOUBLEBACK is followed by COURTCASE, and the crossover of BACK/COURT is clued across the two clues as "Area that an N.B.A. team has eight ... ... seconds to clear".

I like the loop aspect of the answers, that it comes around from the bottom to the top at the end with SEEING/DOUBLE. To that end, the middle answer, CLOSEDCIRCUIT refers to the entire theme as well. That's nicely done. I wish I'd understood as I was solving, but that's a side effect of going for fast times. You could certainly argue about the benefit of time-based solving versus the enjoyment of working through a clever concept as it's being presented... For me, those aspects come into play more on Thursday through Saturday.

Some nice answers in the fill today. I was particularly taken by the pairing of IHEARYOU and TOMMYROT in the SE. SATCHMO is always welcome, especially as it crosses three theme answers. Nice find there.

1A: Muscles worked by bench presses (PECS) - D. Common and uninteresting.
Fave: OUTS (69D: Results of sacrifices). Good clue, unexpected answer, and it fits as the last answer of the puzzle.
Least fave: EHOW (Website for D.I.Y.ers). Just... well, I see it's a real thing, but it made me think of all of those E- answers popping up. Has anybody done a puzzle with this sort of thing? Clue: Online specks. Answer: "emotes". Clue: Online bon mots. Answer: "equips". Any other good examples?

- Colum


  1. 6:55
    Oooh - Nice outro on the review today! How long did those take you? The first one that came to my mind was Clue: Online philosopher. Answer: Equine (Willard Van Orman). Admittedly, that's not good. And it took me at least two minutes.

    Yes, definitely easier than yesterday, and I, too, enjoyed the theme. Once Frannie explained it to me. :)

    OK, how about Question: Online character. Answer: Equality. Or Question: Online coastal bird, to poets. Answer: Eterne. Hahahahahahahaaaa.

    No seriously, how 'bout Question: Online scrawny person. Answer: Ebony. Or Question: Online clergyman. Answer: Erector.

    Excellent. I'm going to work on this....

  2. Or Clue: online crook's pattern, to cops. Answer: Emo...

    We could allow puns too: Clue: online feather pen. Answer: Equal.

  3. 10:31
    I had the curse of figuring out the theme right away, which meant I wasted too much time trying to figure out the theme answers instead of just powering through the down clues. I agree with our leader that solving for speed usually means ignoring the theme, which is why I do poorly at tournaments (but enjoy the company).

    Clue: Online ado about a very slow baseball pitch.

    1. The last time I was at Fenway I was wondering if Bill Lee was the last pitcher to actually throw an Eephus pitch.

  4. 12:42
    Slower by a long shot than Tuesday. Clue: Online Star Wars villain (EVADER). Clue: Online exclusive access (EIN). Do we have a full puzzle yet?