Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017, Pete Muller and Andrea Carla Michaels


We're big fans of the cocktail here at H&F featuring C. In fact, I had a wonderful dirty martini on Friday night, on my way to having one too many to write the review on time. I am not familiar with a "Pink Lady" or "Tia Maria," but the rest of the circled drinks, I know.

So the big central cross of DRINKSALLAROUND and COCKTAILLOUNGES is fine, but those circled drinks, with their triple-checked squares, led to some less-than-ideal situations. The SW corner, in particular, made me want to reach for a bottle! TITRE (93D: Concentration, to a British chemist), is not IDEAL. And, not being on the whole "Game of Thrones" bandwagon, I have no idea who AIDAN Gillen is. Around the other drinks we find NEBS, APIAN, SENG, RANAS, ALARUM, GOWATWT, LEOI, and ERNA. Ah yes, ERNA Berger, the coloratura soprano from the 1940s and 50s. Of course! And before I SEGUE to the better stuff, I'll just call out a few more entries that were not ADVANTAGES - ORLE, BETO, CIV, SRI, IBN, IFAT, NOES.

There were, however, elements of both YINANDYANG, and I did enjoy a lot of the mid-length fill. ROUGHCUT (36D: Partially edited version of a movie), ENTRANCES (38D: Bedazzles) (it's funny, because it also spells "entrances"), DUSTMOPS (55D: Bunny chasers?) (I was glad this had nothing to do with "Playboy"), and NONSTARTER (69D: Awful idea). And in the "interesting trivia" category that I like so much, we have 8D: It's Irish for "We Ourselves" (SINNFEIN). And in the "funny/not funny" category - SEEADOCTOR (99A: What you should do "if symptoms persist.") Hah!

1A: Five Norwegian kings (OLAVS) - D.
Favorite: 37A: Like most things in "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" (WEIRD). I was amused by the clue.
Least: REINK (40A: Make brighter, as a fading tattoo). I was not amused by the clue. Do people actually do that?

So not all bad, certainly, but not terribly smooth either. I particularly disliked the cross of TOSAM and NEDROREM, but I'm guessing others, Colum included, had no trouble with that.

Now it's time for a drink!

- Horace


  1. I first knew AIDAN Gillen from The Wire, where he played the mayor of Baltimore with a convincing American accent (Idris Elba and Dominic West were two other Brits who pulled off American speaking brilliantly in that series). I'm not too excited about having "wine" and "beer" in the puzzle when the other drinks were named cocktails, but they are DRINKSALLAROUND, so I guess my carping doesn't amount to a pile of fish. If that's not a saying I want it to be one.

  2. 23:38
    I normally like Pete Muller puzzles, especially since they skew heavy on all varieties of music. But unfortunately I hit the same trap as our leader on this one. I spent about half of the time in that SW corner; no idea on AIDAN, NEDROREM, ELSA, EPOS (which I still don't understand) and couldn't suss out STIVES. Ugh.

    Despite the now regular occurrence of getting stuck on pivotal Game of Thrones clues, I refuse to watch the series on principle (and the fact that I can't afford HBO).

  3. A DIRTYMARTINI is not so far away this evening. I had NED----- before I ever looked at the clue, but from there it was a gimme.

    Horace, I believe you have a typo with DUSTups instead of DUSTMOPS for non-libation misdirection of "55D: Bunny chasers?" (Damn you, autocorrect!)

    1. Thanks. This Blogger interface has the worst autocorrect I have ever encountered. Sometimes I need to fix things three times before it sticks, and even then, it will sometimes wait until I've moved on and then go back and "correct" things. Ugh!

  4. ~51
    The SW was brutal. Yes, STIVES was tricky, as was ITEMS and ELSA, and the rest, although I had OPENSEA early on along with IDEAL. The rest of the puzzle, except for the cross mentioned by Horace (TOSAM/NEDROREM) was easy enough. I've heard of a [TIAMARIA], but with the entries that I had, I couldn't see it to fill in the missing circles, which would have helped immensely. Tougher than usual Sunday.