Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017, Erik Agard and Paolo Pasco


Today we have four place names that contain two instances of "la," or, four examples of LALA LAND. It's a cute, simple, Monday theme, and one of my brothers is living on the MALAYPENINSULA these days, so it was fun to see that in the puzzle.

1A: Pitchfork-shaped letter (PSI) - B+. Nice clue for this one. I tried "wye" here first. Is that how one spells the second-to-last letter in our alphabet?
Favorite: 15A: Animal whose name is a synonym of "parrot" (APE). Heh.
Least: AFROED (17D: Sporting a natural) - Has this ever been said? "Oh yes, he's the afroed gentleman..."

Not much stellar material, but very little that's terrible, and we've got plenty that's pretty good, to wit: POMADE (14A: Hairstyling substance) (Makes me think of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"), FLUKE (50A: Happy accident), FERAL (50D: Wild), and IGLOO (3D: Ice pad?) were all interesting. I could do without OOPSIE (5D: Mistake, cutely), and it was a little too bad that PERFECTGPA wasn't something theme-related, but overall, I enjoyed it.

Horizontal symmetry, theme answers running in both directions, which I tend to like, plus, an interesting theme and a fun revealer, all add up to a fun Monday.

- Horace


  1. HALFEMPTY was nice. Had aroma before SMELL which is a classic case of going for the familiar crosswordese. Oh, and duO before TWO which I suppose is sort of the same. And Cool before CHIC. No wonder it took me 7:52 rather than faster, although that's a typical time for a Monday for me.

  2. 3:54
    Very nice puzzle. I was SOSPAD when it was over.

  3. 7:22
    Took me a bit longer than normal for a Monday because I entered mOussE instead of POMADE and had trouble remembering SOSPAD for some reason. Fine theme with even some interesting threes (PSI, LSD, APE, AUK). I could have done without Issa RAE (or is it RAE Issa?), someone I've never heard of, but there were no cross problems, so it's fine, and it took too long to enter FED for 24D Served dinner.

  4. I was a bit slower on this one too. Mostly, I guess, because I forgot that PSI was a letter. When you don't fill in 1-Across immediately on a Monday, it's bad for your mojo. I enjoyed just about all the same things Horace did. Dominique DAWES seems pretty obscure for a Monday, but I accept that any gold medalist is fair game. The Austin festival cross is brutal, but what other letter could possibly conclude the last name DAWE_? APE was probably my fav too. No real complaints for a Monday.