Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017, Joe Kidd

4:50 (FWOE)

Well, okay. Standard phrases with -ELS added, reclue wackily, and you have a theme. All three examples are quite well done, but with two 14-letter answers and one 15-letter, that's some 43 squares of theme, which seems a little light. I'm not typically big into revealers, but one here might have tied it together somehow.

Meanwhile, who doesn't like 36A: Henhouses of ill repute? (CHICKENBROTHELS). That's some silly stuff. Even better is 49A: The "I" and "o" "I do"? (MARRIAGEVOWELS). Hah! SECURITYCAMELS has a quite humorous visual, but not the same impact of the other two.

On the nice side, with so little theme, there's space for some really fun fill. I knew we were in for some good stuff when I hit 4D: "It'll never happen!" (FATCHANCE). Very nice. YOURMOVE and EASYTHERE were two more examples of fun little spoken phrases.

The other one, 35D: "Let's be serious here ..." was the site of my error. I had come across 41A: Nascar's Yarborough (CALE), when I had _ALE, and put a D in, essentially without thinking. When I finished the entire puzzle in the SE corner with 64A: Wicked Witch's home (WEST) and got the error message, I looked up and saw I had entered OHdOMENOW. As in "Oh, do me now!" That seemed just a tad inappropriate for the NYT. The real answer, OHCOMENOW, is much more in line. If I have to have an error, that's an error I'm happy to see!

The other zingy answer was KACHING, which I was happy to enter off of the K.

What's up with all the repeated answers recently? CLUE, ORION, OCHOA.

My kids would wince at 26D: Like a basted turkey (MOIST). That word is considered squinchy.

1A: Remove, as a hat (DOFF). B+. I love the word, and it was the only possible answer. Went right in.
Fave: ODETOJOY (38D: Schiller work adapted by Beethoven), as in his ninth symphony. You can never hear it too often.
Least fave: UEY (20A: One-eighty). You can never hear it too little.

Disregard any sense of dissatisfaction above. I liked this puzzle.

- Colum


  1. 6:08
    Hello. I'm back now, having seen Spectacular Totality in Hopkinsville, KY. As is my general vacation policy, I'll not be making up the missed puzzles of 8/18 through 8/22. If the NYT ever gets its act together and develops an Android app, I can solve the daily puzzle on my device, but until then, no dice. Anyway, I, too, enjoyed the puzzle, even if it ran a bit easy for a Wednesday. The theme was amusing, if not quite spectacular. I entered EASYfella where EASYTHERE goes at first, but corrected it quickly with TOTS. And certainly, ODETOJOY was my favorite longer down. ASSES could have had a slightly more interesting clue, but no real complaints (except for UEY, as Colum mentioned).

    1. I think they finally came out with an Android app. I've been using it off and on since maybe December or January.

    2. Oh, I haven't checked in a while. I'll look into it tomorrow. Thanks!

  2. 4:55
    Wow, love your answer for 35D. That would have definitely gotten a mention under "best wrong answers" at a tournament.

    This is the first week I finished M-T-W all under 5 minutes. Spolier: This will come to a screeching halt when I go over 19 minutes on the celebrity Thursday puzzle