Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017, Peter A. Collins



Can't say I really enjoyed this puzzle. I knew that the four circled letters by each long theme answer would make a word of their own, but it wasn't until I finally completed the revealer, GANGOFFOUR, that I got that each little word would be its own little foursome. Meanwhile, the actual foursome referred to in the revealer are hardly uplifting subject material, although I'm sure that the crimes laid at their feet could well have been perpetrated by others, and they were falsely blamed for them.

Still, even accepting that, I have a quibble. I think we'd all agree that the MOTOWNSINGERS are called The Four Tops, not just Four Tops. Interesting bit of trivia: Levi Stubbs, the lead singer, was the voice of the evil plant in the movie of Little Shop of Horrors. Also, his birth name was Levi Stubbles.

The other two answers, four-star (GOODRATING) and "four-eyes" (GLASSESWEARER) are perfectly acceptable.

The self-referential nature of the first three theme answers meant I was hunting around for a long time, trying to connect individual answers I was able to get without crosses. I was definitely hobbled by putting in aRALS instead of URALS. That darned sea, so common in the crossword, getting confused with those darned mountains!

Finally, ZELIG (which eluded me for some time) broke everything open. QUIZSHOW is an outstanding answer, with a cutesy clue. CARGONET is not as exciting. I'm glad that 7D: Searching blindly (GROPING) was clued this way, rather than the creepy way it could have been.

Anyway, a ton of proper nouns, and a somewhat groping solve did not add up to as much fun as the theme answers could pay back.

1A: Somewhat (ABIT). D+. It kind of describes the puzzle, doesn't it?
Fave: SLUGGER (32A: Bonds, e.g.). Very nice hidden capital. I had no idea what was going on here, and why it didn't end in an S once I'd figured out GARBO.
Least fave: DYELOT (46D: What knitters need to match, often). Oof.

- Colum


  1. 14:38
    Hello from vacation!

    I liked DYELOT! I learned about that word when I met Frannie, who was doing a lot of knitting at the time, and I maintain that it is a real thing, and a common thing, at least among knitters. It's no more obscure than BORZOI, surely.

    Congratulations, Mr. Collins, on number 100!

  2. 22:03
    I also liked DYELOTS, as it reminds me of my grandmother, a master knitter, but on the whole I wasn't AGOG over the puzzle either. HAGGIS has no place anywhere, and SOBER is never fun. Although TRAVEL is always welcome. I don't remember ever playing a KAZOO, but it never seemed too difficult an undertaking. Once again, I plead for a proper Thursday rebus.