Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017, Joe Krozel


What an odd, multipart theme today. First of all, there's that note again - which some of you do not see, apparently, and so may not fully realize that the puzzle is missing the letters C and Y in all but the central, revealer. Second of all, there's the PINATA hanging in the middle of the puzzle, filled with CANDY. Pretty nice. But when I got the revealer (even having read the note) I read it as more of a "sound" clue, and thought that the letters K and E would be missing. But then I saw many, many Es, and that one K from KTEL (58A: "Hooked on Classics" label), and I just put off thinking any more about it until after I was finished. An event that was only held up in any significant way by the NW quadrant, where I had entered "ubi" for "2D: Where: Lat." (QUO) (hmpf), which held things up for a while, but which I was forced to re-think after getting ULTIMATEFRISBEE (3D: Widely played sport developed at Amherst College in the 1960s). Ahh... ultimate... I'll probably need two total knee replacements in a few years, but 25 years of all-out ultimate was totally worth it.

1A: Fair (EQUITABLE) - A.
Favorite: Since I don't feel I can use ULTIMATEFRISBEE after going on about it above, I'll pick TOTEMPOLE (17A: Hierarchical structure, metaphorically)
Least: I guess I'll pick on NRA (26A: Org. with millions of members HQ'd in Fairfax, Va.) just for the fun of it.

I liked this odd duck of a puzzle. There's no symmetry, there's unchecked letters, there's total separation between left and right at the top, but overall, I came away with a smile. Even though I'd sooner say "Go jump in a lake" rather than GOJUMPINTHELAKE (12D: "Take a hike!"), and even though I put in "blond ale" before getting AMBERALE (53A: Light brown brew), and even thought I've never heard of TIMS (5D: Popular beige work boots, colloquially) ... it's all good.

Fun Thursday.

- Horace


  1. 11:11
    Funny. I knew pretty quickly at the end of filling the grid that C and Y were the two letters I didn't use, but, similarly, it wasn't making sense phonetically. I knew _AND_ had to be in the middle, so I just started typing. My personal aha moment came in the fraction of a second right after I had entered CAND_ and right before I typed "Y." Hah!

    But, yes, very enjoyable, if odd, and a little easy, puzzle. I started with GOODE and never looked back. Indeed, a lot of reminiscing here: KTEL, TONKAS, TRIVIAGAMES, GIJOE, and even Brooks Robinson, to go alone with the childhood birthday theme.

    I agree with everything in your review. I've similarly never heard anyone say GOJUMPIN'THE'LAKE. But how can you not love ULTIMATEFRISBEE spelled out and the trivia tidbit to go with it?!

  2. 5:58
    I had CANDY well before I noticed there was a note. I would never have noticed that I wasn't using those letters in the remainder of the grid. I suppose some people will nitpick about GOJUMPINTHELAKE and GETGOING, but that sort of thing doesn't bother me. I too entered "ubi" immediately, but once I put ULTIMATEFRISBEE in, the EuU____ beginning to 1A seemed mighty suspect.

    I enjoyed GIJOE, ELMER, and the TONKAS as nostalgia for a long ago boyhood.

    And the least favorite should really be OEDS. There's only one, with many copies, and nobody owns more than one, so I don't see how you pluralize it.

  3. 34:03
    I stared at that NW for a good eighteen (18:00) minutes before I finally entered MULTIPLEX on a whim and it fell. It didn't help that the downs were either clued so well or things of which I had no knowledge (QUO, TIMS, LELAND). I had no note on the Across Lite version of this puzzle, so didn't know anything of the missing C or Y (my real initials for those not in the know), but filling in 35A and 44D was no problem regardless. I had ___FRISBEE for a very long time before remembering the ULTIMATE___ part, having never played the game. Favorite: BLOTTO (7D Trashed). SOILED doesn't happen with my laundry too much, and ENTENTE is a nice word. Agree?