Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017, Tom McCoy


A solid Monday puzzle. Simple theme, well-executed. What sets this apart, however, is that the theme density is quite high, but Mr. McCoy, whose name I have come to associate with solid construction, works around tight constraints to produce a pretty smooth result. A little WORSTS (5D: Opposite of bests) here, a little ENT (62A: Suffix with differ) there, but overall, nothing too CHAFING.

The theme phrases are all common, and the revealer is common, too, but it just seems a tiny bit odd itself. ODDSANDENDS (55A: Miscellany ... or a description of the final words in 15-...) gives you an overall feeling that we're dealing with odd numbers at the ends of phrases, but it doesn't really line up perfectly, if you see what I mean. But I suppose we should all be able to allow for such artful vagueness, shouldn't we?

Aside from the theme, I enjoyed HITORMISS (9D: Sometimes good, sometimes bad), MOXIE (11D: Gumption) (Excellent clue.), CROOK (6D: No-good thief), and even SPEEDO (12A: Swim meet coverage?). Hah!

1A: STRAW (Building material for the first little pig) - B+. Fine word, very good clue.
Favorite: 57D: Like some library books and babies (DUE)
Runner-up: 37A: "Mmm-hmm, mmm-hmm" (ISEE)

There was no least favorite. That's just how it was today. I enjoyed the clueing, I enjoyed the puzzle. Nice start to the week!

- Horace


  1. 3:05
    So close. Maybe if I'd guessed MOXIE instead of nervE. Anyway, fine Monday, very solid. I agree that the revealer was a little off. I was expecting "What are the odds?" or something.

  2. 5:50
    Any numbers theme (except for a biblical Numbers theme) is fine by me. CUR is an excellent three. There were a few less so, and the VEE/EEL side-by-side looks a bit odd, but that's nit-picking. This was a fine Monday.