Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017, Rich Proulx


So I guess MEATLESSMONDAY is a thing. I'd never come across it. Most of our dinners are vegetarian, but I can see that it would be a good thing to encourage the rest of America to consider. At the same time, it makes for a fun theme for a Monday.

Especially given that the three exemplars chosen for the puzzle are all outstanding. Each is a classic recipe and commonly found. I might quibble with MUSHROOMBURGER. Clearly the reference is to a Portobello mushroom burger, but as it stands, you might think of a standard beef burger with mushrooms on top.

Still, SPINACHLASAGNA and BLACKBEANCHILI are great, and all three answers (and the revealer) are 14 letters long, which could be challenging from a grid construction perspective.

There's not too much in the fill that is sparkling. PALOOKA and KLUTZES are amusingly old school, as are TVTRAYS (I think). I don't like the clue for 41D: Like the peninsula seized by Russia in 2014 (CRIMEAN). Because see, it's not "like" the peninsula, it is the peninsula. I would have preferred "____ Peninsula, 2014 news story because of Russian invasion," or some such.

1A: Where holsters go (HIPS) - C-. It's an odd reference, but evocative. They could go at the ankles or the shoulder, but honestly, I don't really want to think about that sort of thing at 1 across.
Fave: HUMOR (42D: "Mankind's greatest blessing," per Mark Twain). I have certainly always thought so. And a great quotation.
Least fave: WISC (25D: The Dairy State: Abbr.) - I don't see why you'd abbreviate Wisconsin as anything other than WI.

- Colum


  1. 8:28 (typical for Monday)

    I had the same quibble about MUSHROOMBURGER, in fact I'm not even sure I'd think to call a Portabello burger a MUSHROOMBURGER, but I guess I can see it.

    As for the fill, let's look for favorite answers. I'm seeing like ADULT and SILT (just a fun word, in fact I'm not sure I've ever seen a soil type clue I disliked although I guess I'd back away if they dove deep into entisols, alfisols, and that sort of thing).

    Oh, the clue for WOK was well done. Stared at it for a few seconds until I asked "hey, what's the extra 'pan' at the end?"

    AXLE also had a better than usual clue, and the muscle duo of PECS and ABS was fun.

    Had Tieup before TWIST, and began to suspect something when (a) the crosses weren't working, but (b) TIEUP was just two rows down.

  2. 5:52
    I knew of MEATLESSMONDAY and enjoy all of the dishes featured. As most people are aware, the single best thing that we as individuals can do to combat global warming is to stop eating meat. I was hoping for a sub-five, but no matter how easy I think the puzzle is, I seem to bottom out in the fives somewhere. I'm usually satisfied, however, as long as there are no errors.