Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017, Sam Trabucco


I feel like we're on a roll here at the NYT xword. Another very nice puzzle today, full of fun entries, good clues, and smooth fill.

I was pleased that my first three guesses of GOD, ODE, and OOH turned out to be correct. It made the puzzle start off quickly. I very much enjoyed 15A: Shoe-in? (ODOREATER). GOODSTUFF wasn't quite as, well... good. I'd give it a solid B-. Fortunately, the clue was definitely a good omen for the rest of the puzzle.

I feel like all of the long answers were very strong. The puzzle felt FRESHFACED, and certainly avoided any BANANAPEELS along the way. 29D: Too high to catch? (ULTRASONIC) is an extremely fine clue.

12D: Home to many sisters (SORORITYROW) made me think I was looking for an abbey or a nunnery. Do sorority members actually call themselves "sisters"? I'd think "members" would be more the term, but what do I know? I've never been to a sorority in my life.

I thought having NEVEREVER over IDONTMIND was like asking for volunteers and getting the spectrum of answers. Meanwhile, the CONEHEADS lived in the bottom corner. I immediately knew that one! Can't believe Remulak has a little corner of my brain all to itself.

Two "Test" clues (DRYRUN and ASSAY), as well as the split reference to John Hancock as the individual from Massachusetts history, along with his famed PEN (although I think we all disregard the tool in favor of what it produced in this particular instance), and as the insurance company, whose rival is AETNA. And finally, the two sleeping answers cross at TAKEASNOOZE and DOZE. In our household, however, we take a little snoozle instead.

I don't generally enjoy seeing a referential clue appear before the clue it's referencing. Thus, REELS coming before ROD is not aesthetically pleasing.

But overall, this is a HELLA good puzzle. (And one that seemed very PERKY and pleased with itself, and life overall).

- Colum


  1. 15:03
    I thought I could have been a contender with what I think is my best Friday time ever, but IDONTMIND. Very smooth puzzle, and as Colum mentions, not much junk. I put in orb instead of GOD at first, but the three Os in a row up at 1A made me right that quickly, so no big problem there. I've eaten PUFFERFISH and like that it crosses ALEWIFE, an MBTA station near which Sue works. FORAGER was nicely clued, as was HEATH. I've heard fraternity members referred to as "brothers," so sisters seems fine, but I, too, was thinking "nun" for that one, and needed many of the crosses. I didn't know HEGIRA.

  2. 16:56 (FWOE)
    Well, Huygens old chap, you beat me! And I had a mistake, besides! Although, when I found it, TaE made no sense for "It gives a drive a little height."

    Did you notice that "Ten Forward" fit in 43A: Observation deck of the future? I was so sure I had that nailed, but TAROTCARDS is also quite good. And in other failed attempts, I tried "chevy" and then "beach" before getting 5D: Malibu, e.g. (SEDAN).

    And who didn't think, when they came upon "46A: Officials outranking beys," - Ain't nobody outranks Queen Bey! ... ok, maybe no one but me.