Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017, Zhouqin Burnikel


Can I just start this review with my favorite thing about this puzzle? And it's not taking anything away from the rest of it to bring this up first. I love 43A: Play a fife (TOOTLE) when it's so close to 55D: "Toodles!" (TATA). It's almost enough to stop the review right there.

But actually, I enjoyed this puzzle quite a bit while I was doing it, starting right off with the excellent 1A: Line of clothing (INSEAM), which gets an A+ for the clue. It was not my first answer (which was TATAMI, followed by ATARIS), but I very much enjoyed it when I finally figured it out.

The theme is very cute, with a number of "collectors" who are demonstrated to be something else entirely. Thus, a "stamp collector" turns out to be a PASSPORT. My favorite is GUINESSBOOK, as a genuine collector of records. I'm not convinced 45A: Bill collector? (CASHREGISTER) belongs in this list, because nobody has a hobby of collecting bills. But I liked the answer anyway. And then finally, the "shell collector" (PASTABAR) is a little odd, because mostly people are removing shells from the pasta bar, not depositing them there.

I liked all of the long down answers, with STANDINGO and POINTGUARDS (so close to SIXER) being the best.

But how about the constructor apologizing for her PUN at 58D: Cry of shear terror? (BAA). That's amusingly meta.

Yes, we had AHS, ISO, RTE, and a few other typical crossword findings, but on the whole, I'm a fan of this puzzle.

- Colum


  1. Nice to see a shout out for NATE Silver, listening to his podcast every week makes me feel like I'm part of some small club, but I guess it isn't all that small if he is crossword-famous.

    Favorite? Maybe NIXON? Just because "I am not a crook" is just so iconic to a politically minded person of a certain age.

  2. 9:26
    Despite the time, this puzzle moved right along for me. I loved TOOTLE, too, as well as DAUNTS and OFNOTE. The longer downs were also very good (MISSTEENUSA, POINTGUARDS, STANDINGO and BITTEREND). My favorite clue was probably 66A Multiple jobs, metaphorically (HATS). An enjoyable solve.

  3. 4:49
    Hey, in the tournament, we'd have the same score, Colum! :)

    Another odd theme, but I, too, came away liking it fine.