Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wednesday, July 5, 2017, Jake Halperin


Classic board games found in ordinary-ish phrases is today's theme. LIFEONTHERUN (27A: Travel edition of a classic board game?) isn't something that I hear very often, but the other three are normal enough. My favorite is FLIGHTRISK, because it's the funniest and the best game. And because I have never heard of the board game "Goon." Or maybe it's "Vacation?" I really have no idea.

The grid is pretty open, with decent flow from one area to the next. There are those little islands in the NW and SE, but they didn't cause too much trouble. The fill includes some very nice eight-, nine-, and even eleven-letter entries in the Downs, including LINGERIE (39D: Boudoir wear), FOODGROUP (10D: Cooking class?) (nice clue!), SOUNDEFFECT (6D: Boing, for a spring) (ditto), and TACOSTAND (33D: Place to grab a bite in Mexico).

OEUF (18D: One of a dozen in un frigidaire) (nice non-capital), CINE (54D: French filmdom), FINIPESO, and FRIO (34A: Opposite of caliente) provide an URBANE air, and ORAMA, NOES (30D: Refusals), and ELOI provide bloggers with a little something to grouse about.

1A: Songwriters' org. (ASCAP) - D.
Favorite: 61A: Done, in Verdun (FINI), because it reminds me of a funny limerick.
Least: 44D: Nonproliferation treaty subjects, informally (NTESTS), because it reminds me of North Korea, and a nagging worry that they will eventually nuke us.

All in all, a pretty solid debut puzzle.

- Horace

p.s. Frannie points out that 43A includes the game "Go." What a goon I am for not seeing this...


  1. I did the same thing initially with "GOON". You are not alone out there :).

  2. 21:18
    The middle north had me for a while with SOUNDEFFECT crossing ENS (tricked me again with that "Channel 2?" type of clue!) and LIFEONTHERUN, which, for some reason, I couldn't see even though I had LI__ONTHERUN. The trouble was that I wanted OvUm instead of OEUF, because I don't know much French. Anyway, OK puzzle. I liked HETERO and the aforementioned LINGERIE.

  3. 7:56
    I was trying to figure out if "vacation" was a classic board game... It's nice that the classic games are the ends of 2 theme phrases and beginnings of the 2 others. I'm trying to imagine playing Risk on a plane...

  4. I was troubled on two levels by the negative valence of three of the four theme answers: cartrouble, lifeontherun, flightrisk. On the one hand, I found the pairing of these bleak phrases with classic board games incongruous. On the other hand, if you're going to go to the dark side, take it all down with you.

  5. I kept saying "how do you spell LINGERIE?", "how do you spell OEUF?", "how do you apell TUSSAUD?", "how do you spell ELOI?" (just kidding on that last one, I'm not completely unaware of crosswordese).

    So between those and a bunch of others (irR before VAR, Omg before OOH), it was kind of slow in a way which wasn't especially fun, but where I can't exactly point to anything wrong with the puzzle. Time was 16:59.