Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017, Damon Gulczynski


I was not AVERSE to this puzzle.

The NW corner was a little rough, but I guess that was necessary in order to keep the HOVERBOARDS (2D: Modern transports used while standing) and ITSNOBIGGIE (3D: "Nothing to get worked up about") pairing. It's a good pair, but I don't love MOT used for "zinger." Alone, it just means "word." What kind of a fop do you have to be to say MOT when you mean "bon mot?" And IVS isn't great, but farther down we get GENDERBINARY (20A: Male-or-female) and AROUSE (22A: Electrify), both of which are strong.

I loved the clue for POACH (31A: Appropriate game), which had me wondering what made something appropriate for hunting. Instead it was inappropriate appropriation that they were talking about. Ha! And over in the SW, 36D: Float fixer (SODAJERK) and 45D: Mushroom producers (ABOMBS) gave me similar fits.

1A: Sushi bar fish (AHI) - C. I guessed "eel" here first, which helped nothing.
Favorite: APU (11D: "The Simpsons" character who claims he can recite pi to 40,000 places) - because it made me laugh out loud both when I first read it and then again just now as I typed it in.
Least: The aforementioned MOT.

There's a lot of good in this. OVERTHEHUMP (24D: No longer struggling) beside TELEKINESES (24D: No longer struggling) is another good pair of 11s, and the full PABLONERUDA (18A: Gabriel García Márquez called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century, in any language") is welcome in any puzzle. There's more, too, but I'll leave them for you to find.

Thumbs up!

- Horace


  1. 11:07
    Very nice puzzle. ABOMB was tough to the point that when I had A_OMB, I still couldn't get it. I was stuck on some scientific term for spore producers, something like "rhizome". I also had a really hard time with IDARENOT. I had the I from PIPPA early on, so tried "Imscared" followed by "ImAfraid", the latter change coming after I got PABLONERUDA in place.

    My fave: 26A: Puny arms? (BBGUNS). Hah!

  2. 19:51
    This is the best Friday puzzle in a long time. The crossing of POLIS/SETSHOT was my final entry, as I am not much into sports or ancient Greek city-states. I LAMENT that math whizzes are considered GEEKS, but I'd add to Horace's list the clue for IDIOT (15A Yo-yo) as being a great one. I agree that the APU trivia is the best and hilarious, but sadly, probably accurate commentary on many immigrants in his position. I loved this the whole way through.