Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017, Andy Kravis


Mr. Kravis had me on the run at the start, when I looked quickly at "1A: Filing station?," and was fooled into assuming there were two "Ls." I thought about gas pumps, not a NAILSALON. But STRAP (10A: Bookbag part), on the other hand, went right in, and from that I quickly filled in the NE. SPINES (10D: Things seen on a bookshelf) is lovely in its literalness, and I liked RISKPRONE (12D: Like someone who invests in volatile stocks) (had RISKtaker in there for a while), but INSTA (18A: Photo app, slangily) is something I have not, happily, heard anyone say.

I really liked RODEUP (25A: Shifted, in a way, as a skirt). Such a great expression, and one that I have never seen in a puzzle. (Indeed, this is the first time it has appeared in the NYTX!) It also reminds me of something I like less, and something I'm not even sure I should put in print... but what the hell... My wife and her sisters, when they were very young, came up with the expression "Indian underwear," for those pairs that were "Creeping up on them." .... I know, right? Yikes! Sorry.

Anywhooo, I found lots to like in here. The nine-stacks were solid, with such lovely entries as INVIOLATE (15A: Kept sacred), SETPIECES (64A: Furniture and such onstage), and ENFORCING (62A: Putting teeth into). We also have GETSRIDOF (33D: Deep-sixes) and ATAPRICE (39D: Not without consequences), and if all that weren't enough, there's also a shining example of the kind of clue/answer that, when you finally get it, makes all the ASTIs, SRIs, and IDOS worthwhile - 27D: Dimensions without planes (NOFLYZONES). That's just beautiful.

So thumbs up. I could go on and on - I wanted, for instance, to mention that the very word "denim," used in the clue for 1D, includes, in a way, the answer. Denim is French for "from Nîmes" - "de Nîmes." Cool, non? And what about TITTLE? Seems a little risqué lying there right next to BEAVER. Too much? Perhaps.

OK, I'll sign off, but I'll say again that this was a good one.

- Horace


  1. 15:02
    How nice it is to see two of the top indie constructors on consecutive days in the old gray lady (and both of whom contributed puzzles at the recent Indie 500 tournament). Which is why we get fresh stuff like VAGUEBOOKS and ALLNBATEAM. I've done a lot of Andy Kravis puzzles, so maybe that is why I fared better today than yesterday.

    Very nice writeup! I don't have much to add, except that the whole MANSE/ELSA thing was a bit of a wild guess for me.

  2. 7:47
    Outstanding puzzle, for sure. NIMES was my entry point, followed by MOONLIGHT, which helped that whole section fall quickly. Love 38D: Part of a club (MAYO). Nice clue there. And we even get a mini-Wagner theme with RIENZI and ELSA! I knew the former, but like Mike, had to get the latter from crosses. NOFLYZONES is the best answer in the puzzle.

    1. BTW, INSTA is used with regularity around our household, along with its relative, the "finsta", or a "fake" Instagram account where you can post things you don't want your parents seeing...

  3. 22:09
    Yes, outstanding puzzle. Luckily, I noticed the one "l" in 1A, so NAILSALON went right in. NIMES needed all of the crosses, as did RIENZI. I also didn't know of ADUE, but was happy to learn it, even though it's a French-derived musical direction and not the proper Italian.