Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017, Natan Last, The J.A.S.A. Crossword Class, and Finn Vigeland


How funny is it that I posted a photo of SIDCAESAR (14D: 1950s TV personality who appeared in "Grease") in Grease just two days ago, and today he's in the puzzle with that clue! Quelle coincidence!

I liked pretty much all the nine- and ten-letter answers today. EASYSTREET (17A: Low-stress address?), GOINPEACE (13D: Gentle farewell), and CASTPARTY (31D: Celebration after a run) are probably my favorites. I also thought PANICBAR (23D: Door part often fitted with an alarm) and RHEOSTAT (21D: Current regulator) were both strong. MEEMAW (9D: Grandmother, in dialect), however, I did not like. Which dialect is that again? I've never heard it.

More strong stuff - WALLOW (27A: Roll around), THROB (42A: Beat), LAYLOW (4D: Hunkered down) (tricky tense!), and SLOTH (24D: Poor work habit). And how did these youngsters slip HOOHAS (35A: Flaps) past Mr. Shortz?!

1A: Plucky words? (SHELOVESME) - A. Think daisies.
Favorite: 30D: Request for an island getaway? (SOS) - That's a lovely clue.
Least: STARCH (39A: Pressing need) - It's cute, but you don't actually need it to press anything. Believe me. I do a lot of ironing!

Even after the "Does sumthing wrong" clue from a few days ago, it still took me ages to figure out 53D: Kind of place for the summer? (ONES). Sheesh! And how 'bout that misdirection on 59D: Cry at a Real Madrid game (GOL). I dropped in "ole" so fast!...

Lots to like in here and not much glue (sure, ERTES was plural, but it got a decent clue). I went through it pretty fast, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.

- Horace


  1. Yes, this one was very enjoyable. Amazing about the Sid Caesar coincidence. I thought it was quite something that i was looking for an SOS answer just a few days ago, and I got one today--with a great clue. "Kind of place for the summer" was easy for me, but I happened to have put in the NE and S before I read the clue. Love pretty much all the answers you have spotlighted. Fun to see SHARKTANK in there since we watch that show just about every week. I was surprised that "Something to watch" turned out to be THEGAP. I like it, but I thought that phrase was too British to be clued so simply. The plural of ERTES is fine, isn't it? Just like Picassos or Monets. I guess I'll have to look up CHAYOTE and TTY, but I never mind learning a thing or two from a puzzle. Lovely Saturday!

  2. 21:54
    Very nice indeed. SHELOVESME right above HESAKEEPER? Delightful. Tough clue for POTATORACE. It's not a competition that's fair, it's a competition at a fair. Also ONES is such a great clue. I had a tough time with 35A: Flaps. I had __OHAS and could think of nothing but "alohas". HOOHAS? Ouch. Fortunately I had just seen Merchant of Venice this summer (with Cece playing the title role of Antonio), so JESSICA wasn't too hard. My toughest section was the SW, broken finally by figuring out ATTORNEY. I can never remember the various amendments.

  3. 36:06
    Thought I was going to break a record when I filled in the NW corner straight away. But then the agony began. Never heard of CHAYOTE and TRICE, with TRICE crossing TARA to boot.

    I agree that all of the long ones were very nice.

  4. 49:46
    This one was pretty tough for me, especially the SE corner. HOOHAS was surprising. MEEMAW is often said on "The Big Bang Theory" by Sheldon Cooper, who is supposed to be a Texan, so maybe that's a Texas dialect. I never heard of that gourd, either. Mostly fun puzzle, though.