Saturday, September 2, 2017

Saturday, September 2, 2017, Erik Agard


Thursday it was "box seats," yesterday it was "opera boxes," and today we are led to the LOGESEAT (15D: Superior stadium spot) for the SANANTONIO Stars (WNBA) game.

A solid end to The Turn (what we at this blog call the Thursday, Friday, Saturday puzzle block). There are obvious bits of glue - SOTU (President's annual delivery to Cong.), RESAT, and SDSU (Calif. school near the Mexican border) and a few others - but not too much.

The longer stuff was not always terribly exciting. I enjoyed filling in GREENHOUSEGASES (They leave carbon footprints), but I did so off the G of RPG, which is bittersweet on a Saturday. You love getting a long answer like that, but you also wish you had had to work a little more for it. Likewise, SOUTHSUDANESE (Neighbor of an Ethiopian) took only a few crosses, and once it is in, it's just in. Do you know what I mean?

Better, in my opinion, were fun words like IRIDESCE (Sparkle) ("Sparkles," btw, is one of Frannie's nicknames), ORDAIN (Decree), SEMINOLE (Creek language) (thank you for not cluing this as a sports team), and the excellent TANGENTIAL (Barely relevant).

I was not aware of the show QUEENSUGAR (Oprah Winfrey Network show about a family farm), and I always bristle a bit when I see THESTONES (Band that really rocks, appropriately?) without the word "Rolling." Have they officially changed their name? I know we've seen this in puzzles before. Grrr. And I was surprised to see SCIROCCO clued as "Volkswagen coupe" without any reference to the past, but I looked it up, and the SCIROCCO is back in production. It's not sold in North America, but I guess that doesn't matter. We sometimes see Skoda, and other foreign brands in puzzles, don't we?

Overall, I think this was, as I said, solid, but not especially memorable.

1A: Movie lot? (CAST) - C-. It was given away by the question mark.
Favorite: TAKE (Stomach).
Least: I guess SOTU. Seems so arbitrary.

- Horace


  1. I'm pretty much in agreement with Horace's assessment. I too love ORDAIN< TANGENTIAL, and, especially, IRIDESCE. My two favorites were SPORK--yes, maybe that was easy, but my first thought was along the lines of shrimp fork, so the realization that tiny meant short more than small brought a smile--and KAOS--any reference to one of the great shows from my youth brings a smile. CAST would have been easier if I hadn't thought "Crew" immediately. Probably have to agree with SOTU for least favorite. Man, that's dreadful, but CTR is pretty bad too, particularly on a Saturday. A few other thoughts: Anybody else bugged by DEICED as the answer to "Cleared for landing? Can they deice midair now? I see the procedure quite often at MSP, but it's always done on the ground. Also, like almost all supposedly onomatopoetic words, I say phooey to TICTAC as being an example of the term. I was just at the State Fair; now "Baa", there is a true example! NEO, "Lead-in to folk or soul" OR ANYTHING ELSE!! Nice clue for CHESSSET. First I thought, wait, they are not all "men," but then I accepted a definition of the word as "playing pieces." Finally, a shout-out to ETAGERES. That word has always had a personal resonance for me. When my wife and I first moved into an apartment together in the mid-80s we bought a "three-shelf etagere" at Target. I don't think I had ever heard the word before that, but I have always remembered it. Seemed like a pretty fancy word for the cheap plastic unit that graced our apartment for many years.

  2. 31:28
    I never heard of ETAGERES. I enjoyed the clue for OLEO (30A Option for a roll), but did not like seeing things like LLD, SDSU (my least favorite) and RPG on a Saturday. I refuse to look up what RPG means. KAOS is excellent, as is SPORK. I never heard of RICEBEER, and probably won't run out to get any.