Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tuesday, August 1, 2017, Jay Kaskel

5:13 (FWOE)

Good Lord, it's August. Where did the time go? Oh, that's right. I've spent it along with much of America worrying about what's going to come out of Washington next. Too soon? I'm afraid it's too late.

Wait a second here, this is the New York Times Crossword puzzle blog, not some doom and gloom political blog. Away with fear, away with anger! Let's rejoice in this wonderful little thing we all share each day!

Colum here, back once again in the dog days of summer. I'm starting up another month of blogging. I've very much enjoyed the last two months, reading Frannie's and then Horace's musings.

And we start off on a Tuesday, that peculiar day of puzzles. It's neither a Monday, with its straightforward thematic approach, nor a Wednesday, with its oddball hodgepodge of puzzles. Who can say what characterizes a Tuesday?

ILLBEDARNED! It's a puzzle with cute puns about phrases of astonishment. My favorite was definitely 59A: "Shocking!," to a Thanksgiving guest? (GOODGRAVY). That's fun stuff. Although now that I look at the clues, what the heck is that comma doing inside that quotation mark? Surely it should be "Shocking!", to a Thanksgiving guest? That's the way I'd have written it. Perhaps somebody could put in their two cents about this?

Each corner of the puzzle has a nice little stack of longer answers, which makes up for the lack otherwise of long down answers. I liked HUNKERED the best, but who can resist ITALIANO?

On the other hand, there's a large amount of XER, ADT, EER, etc. Not to mention ORES. Can't stand those pluralized hunks of rock.

My error was a typo, yet again. I knew it was OBEYED / BEEB, but my finger found N instead, and my eyes were off elsewhere. This wouldn't happen on a standard keyboard, but on the iPad it's all too easy for the fingers to miss. Nonetheless, I got the message of failure, and that counts for a FWOE.

1A: Zin alternative (CAB): C+. It's wine, but it's a sort of abbreviation.
Fave: SAG (46A: What some shoulders and pants do). That's a great clue for an otherwise less than stellar bit of crossword glue.
Least fave: ATIE (54A: End in ____). That's an unappealing partial there.

- Colum


  1. 5:50

    Exclamation points go inside quotation marks when they are a part of the quote, and commas always go inside quotation marks, so that seems right to me.

    I, too, enjoyed this silly theme. And as I was biking to work, I thought that maybe MAMMA/MIA could be thought of as bonus theme material.

    Fun start to the month.

    p.s. Is "The Goldbergs" about piano music?

    1. I guess I disagree about the application of the rules in this situation. Or maybe the comma isn't needed?

      "Shocking!" to a Thanksgiving guest. - Hmmm.
      "Shocking!", to a Thanksgiving guest.
      "Shocking!," to a Thanksgiving guest.

      I just don't like the !, It looks wrong to me.

  2. 5:13
    Quite an honor to match the time of our esteemed leader. An encouraging way to start out the month, and with Lollapuzzoola less than three weeks away. This will also be the month that I [hopefully] reach 365 on my daily streak. Hard to believe I have been fighting with these puzzles for almost a year now.

    Theme was pretty fun today. I think my favorite was WELLINEVER, but it was smooth all around.

  3. 10:02 (typical for a Tuesday)

    Hadn't heard of GOODGRAVY but I gather it is a minced form of Good God. As for the other themers, ILLBEDARNED is hard to beat for punniness, although I once had a pastor who always said OHMYSTARS so maybe that wins the sentiment award. Got both answers of MAMMA MIA without crosses but that would be nasty for someone without that knowledge. Oh and I had MOtto and MORAy before MORAL. That's obvious, but only with hindsight. NEIGHS next to VROOM was a nice pairing (at first I had neigh for the latter but when I figured out what kind of racetrack, that was a nice shift in assumptions).

  4. 7:10
    Excellent theme, and of course, OHMYSTARS is my favorite of the theme answers. Didn't Samantha say that all the time on "Bewitched?" HUNKERED is excellent, as are OLDNAG and OEUVRE. I thought that 51D Car that's hardly a peach (LEMON), though obvious, was somewhat amusing. Really an unusually fun Tuesday, even with the glue.