Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017, Erik Agard


Yesterday I couldn't parse the game "Go" out of an answer, and today I don't know what expressions they're referencing with 35- and 37-Across. Jeff Chen on thinks that "killing two birds with one stone" could be the inspiration, but the "stones" (ONYX & OPAL) only "kill" (by crossing) one bird each, the MARTIN and the HAWK. The WREN and the HEN are left free to fly away. Additionally, SONYEXPERIA (5D: Line of Japanese smartphones) and BAMBOOPALM (27D: Tropical houseplant) do nothing for me. I don't own a smartphone and I have a black thumb where houseplants are concerned. Consequently, I had never heard of either answer before. Not that that matters, necessarily. I have heard of Mr. PIBB (but not PIBB Extra), and the band KORN, and probably lots of other solvers didn't know those. Or maybe they did... what do I know?

All that grousing aside, I'm not going to fly off the perch about it. I was limed early on by such fine answers as RUMRAISIN (1D: Popular [!] ice cream flavor) and SPARETIRE (2D: Little extra poundage). And in the opposite corner are caged POLEDANCE (33D: Performance that requires a lot of upper body strength) and SNOWANGEL (34D: Figure whose wings melt in the sun). I like how Mr. Agard works the blue material in the former, and the bird material in the latter.

1A: Say "Yeah, I can make it," say (RSVP) - C+. The plus is for French, and the odd repetition of the word "say" in the clue.
Favorite: 62A: Half of a two-volume directory (ATOM). It's surprising, because ATOM is a perfectly normal word, and sometimes surprising is all it takes. See also: 58A: Nursery item (TREE). I had "crib" in there for quite a while!
Least: 57D: Two-nation peninsula: Abbr. (KOR)

Decorates with some rolls, for short (TPS) was fun, and 30A: It uses clicks in lieu of paddles (EBAY) was tricky. It took me a long time to think of auction paddles! And 18D: It often occurs following a car wash, seemingly (RAIN) made me chuckle. But seriously, why wash your car? About twenty years ago I met a guy who argued against it as a total waste of time, resources, and money, and I had no rebuttal, so from pretty much that moment, we have never washed our car. Sure, I guess if I ran through deep mud I might consider hosing it off, but pay to drive through those brushes? No thank you.

So anyway, this was a disappointing Thursday puzzle for me. The theme made no sense, and it was over very quickly. Onward to the remainder of the Turn!

- Horace


  1. 9:14 (FWOE)
    Well, I chose to answer rIB for 31D: Chest protector (BIB). I like my answer as much as the real one. I don't much like the theme, except for the hidden gems in the down answers, which are nicely hidden. I completely agree that the expression missed, literally, only killing one bird (poor MARTIN and HAWK) with the respective stones.

    I confidently entered Rockyroad intead of RUMRAISIN. It took only a second to see it was wrong, but I couldn't believe anybody would think the latter is more popular than the former.

    1. Ha! I am vindicated in that Rex Parker made the exact same FWOE as me.

  2. I also could not make sense of the theme and could not figure out EBAY. Erik is a great young constructor and I loved all of the fresh fill in this one, but I agree that the theme was a disappointment.

  3. 25:49
    I put Raspberry in for RUMRAISIN at first. I never heard of a SONYXPERIA and needed all of the crosses for the XPERIA part, SONY coming in off of the SIGH. Obviously, POLEDANCE was my favorite. BEEFPATTY was my least favorite. This was not a great Thursday puzzle. This Agard fellow needs to step it up a bit, or stick with Wednesdays.