Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017, Tracy Gray


OK, here's what I don't like about this puzzle: ARGUS. Why? Because I put in ARGoS, knowing it was right for "12D: Mythical 100-eyed giant," and then when I got to "22A: Word accompanying a head slap," (DUH) I filled in DoH and smiled. Then, when I finished filling in the grid, I learned that I had an error, which I thought must have been a typo, since nothing was particularly difficult, but I looked and looked, and after spending more time looking for an error than I had spent filling in all the clues, I went to xwordinfo to see Jeff Chen's completed grid, which is when I saw the U. Sure, DUH, also works for 22A, and ARGUS is an alternate Americanization of Αργος, but I argue that the O also works.

OK, rant over. It's Labor Day, and the grid is reminding us of that by offering up BBQ fare - wings, dogs, brats, and sliders. I don't eat any of these things, but I appreciate the effort. All the "container phrases" are acceptable. I like the top two better than the bottom two, but I think they're all fair.

1A: "Goldilocks" bear with the hardest bed (PAPA) - B-. Good effort on the clue.
Favorite: GIN (47A: Rickey or gimlet ingredient). Mmm... GIN. Soon it will be brown liquid weather again, so enjoy it while you can!
Least: TSLOT (68A: Letter-shaped track in metalworking). Gaaah.

Not much more to say about this one. Onward!

- Horace


  1. Well, I made the same "error," and I really didn't even consider the possibility of a DNF until I read this blog. Every online site I checked lists both spellings for ARGOS. As I'm sure Horace is aware, the O is the Greek Anglicization, while the U is the Latin. And how long has The Simpsons been on? In all that time, DOH is most decidedly the preferred utterance when slapping one's own head. Duh is way more often used to point out the obvious to someone else. So, a completely unfair--worse than unfair, unacceptable!--cross. Otherwise, I agree with most of your other observations: I too love the ambitious cluing of PAPA. I also appreciate the clue for RBI. At first I thought, "Well, that's nice-- modern nickname along with an old school one. But it's more than that. Those two guys are #'s 3 and 1 in career RBIs. The Bambino is in between. So, nice, non-arbitrary cluing. (Do you know who is #14, by the way? Yaz. Isn't that impressive?) TSLOT is terrible. Gaaah, indeed. Yes, all the phrases are fair, I guess. Least favorite is the last, which has a very weak clue. No mention of what makes backdoor sliders unique. Also, in baseball terms, "curving balls" would have been better than "curve balls," since they are two distinct pitches. What else? ELMO is falsetto-voiced? That has never occurred to me! "Email button"? Really? Button? "Noun go-with" is poor in at least a couple ways. And I'm not crazy about "Bloomberg" having no other identifiers with it. That's probably nit-picking. Outside of the O/U fiasco, I appreciate the effort for a holiday themer.

    1. I might have put it down as a DNF in protest, instead of the more common (on this blog) "Finished With One Error." The initial solve took me just over four minutes.

      And I'm glad you mentioned the Simpsons. I was going to rant about how Moe and Apu are crossword-worthy, but not d'oh? It's just not right. And I completely agree with your distinction between the two exclamations. Sheesh! Furthermore, I'd be surprised if MEH didn't come from the Simpsons.

      Hah! Here's what Google has to say about that:

      1990s: apparently popularized by the television series The Simpsons .


  2. Oh, yeah, one more thing: What's with the brand name ORGY?? CITGO, KARO, PANDG, MAACO?

  3. DNF for the same reason. That's three people, seems like enough to call it. Failed puzzle.

  4. 7:11 (FWOE)
    I'll take the FWOE for that same cross, even though it probably should not count as an error since both are, according to the above rants, acceptable. The long answers were pretty good. Dislikes: ELMO, BBQ and SUET. Likes: GIN, ALES (even though it's plural). How is ORGY a brand name?

  5. 7:14 (FWOE)
    I did exactly the same thing - filled in DOH and then couldn't find the error. But after reading the commentary above I'm counting my original grid as correct.