Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017, Daniel Mauer


I thought that French major was going to finally pay off today when I dropped in LEPETITDEJEUNER (17A: *Breakfast, in Burgundy) without a second thought, but then when I came to EINEKLEINE NACHTMUSIK (Mozart composition), I briefly panicked because I first defaulted to the Dutch spelling of music (muziek), which did not fit! And then the Spanish in the middle was where I ended up, because although I - and everyone else in the country - has heard "La Bamba" countless times, I never distinctly heard UNAPOCADEGRACIA in the lyrics, so I needed a little bit of grace to finally get the answers to 30D: Good-news-to-bad-news transition (BUT) and 39D: Listen here! (EAR), both of which were amusing in the end.

1A: Hairdressers' challenges (MOPS) - B. Good clue, unusual term.
Favorite: IAMSODEAD (32D: "OMG, my parents are gonna ground me forever!") - LOL
Least: I guess RIAA (68A: Org. certifying albums as gold or platinum), because it's an obscure abbreviation, but honestly, it's not all that bad.

I really liked this puzzle. I'm a big fan of languages, and in addition to the theme answers, we have ECLAT (8A: Brilliance), CRU (9D: French vineyard), BRIO (30A: Vivacity), OLES (34A: Corrida cheers) (ok, this plural of tired crosswordese probably should have been my least favorite), DES, OPEL, and the names ARP, MEHTA, and KANT.

Other highlights for me include SHIRK (55D: Avoid, as work), ELM (22A: One throwing shade?), III (38D: XXX divided by X) (there have been a string of good clues for III lately, in my opinion), and SHOAL (60A: Boating hazard). 

Hey, this puzzle is one place where GLUE is not glue... and is EENIE a duplication with EINE?

Thumbs up!

- Horace

p.s. And hey, it's a debut! Congratulations, Mr. Mauer!


  1. 7:13
    I have a love/hate with foreign language entries in crosswords, as I have had two different tournaments where the single letter I missed out of the entire day was a foreign word (and why I now have nightmares about SETTE and HUEVO).

    Anyhow, this being a Wednesday the fill was easy enough for me to make it through unscathed. The only touch and go item was the Spanish entry, as noted by our esteemed leader.

    I guess the theme was ok, although I still don't know what UNAPOCADEGRACIA means, or even which part of that phrase means "little", as mandated by the puzzle's theme. My guess would be "poca" and maybe the phrase would mean something like "a little thanks" or "a little respect".

    1. I guess I should have put "a little bit of grace" in quotation marks. That's what it means.

  2. 3:54
    Very fast for a Wednesday, but it certainly helped knowing the first two theme answers without any crosses. I too loved IAMSODEAD.

  3. Finished with one error in 17:53 (a bit slow for Wednesday).

    See, what I know about breakfast in France is basically that you have it in the nude sur l'herbe. And that before the phrase "sur l'herbe" goes desayuner or deyunaser, or some word sorta like that. So although sANE didn't really seem like a virgin, that's all I had until I resorted to an English–French dictionary and then I got the little success popup.

  4. 7:49
    I'm not a fan at all of foreign languages in a crossword, but I am a fan of Mozart, so 23A and 52A went in from the clue. The others, however, needed all crosses, which were fine. This was a bit fast for me for a Wednesday since there were no real slowdowns. I put ORANGEade in briefly, but YADDA and STAIN fixed that almost immediately. My time was helped immeasurably since I knew almost all of the proper names from their clues, too. Only 1D Otis's feline pal (MILO) is unknown to me. Nice debut.

  5. I'm neutral on this puzzle. I guess the foreign language phrases are an unusual, nice twist. (Horace, I'm with you on never exactly knowing what the line was in "La Bamba.") But, boy, there is a large amount of short crap in here. RNA, OED, HMO, ARP, LSAT, GMAN, III (yet again!), DES, SRI, CRU, PHI, EDU, RIAA, OPEL . . . Pretty sure none of those are actual English words. Agree that ECLAT and BRIO are good. Can't give this a thumbs up, though, because nothing in it really entertained me. A typical Wednesday. Sigh.