Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017, Peter Wentz


After a boffo start on this Friday's solve, I completely tanked in the south east. The kicker was HODAKOTB, a person I've never heard of and a name I don't think I could have guessed. I had TB at the end of 56A two or three times, but I kept taking it out deeming it an impossible combination. Shows you what I know. The clues for what I now know to be ONEIL, LOU, and LAOTSE didn't help matters in that corner. SAD.

Elsewhere, it was a much more BADABING experience. From ARCANA to GUYFAWKESMASK to GRAYAREA I was able to HAVEAGAS. I liked BODYSURF (5D Catch a wave, in a way), of course, because who doesn't?  And RUBES. WILDE is always a favorite, although "Salome" itself, not so much. I wanted 27A Play with strings to be puppet show, but it wasn't.

There seemed to be a mini theme of computer-related terminology including MACS, MCAFEE, WIKIS, USBPORT, and ICLOUD.



I don't get where Mr. Wentz was going with 38A Dated women? (FAIRSEX). I also thought UNDEREAT as the answer for Be malnourished didn't sit quite right, but ODDSARE others would say DOESSO.



  1. 9:07
    See, the clue "Dated women?" is saying an outmoded way of talking about the feminine gender, thus, FAIRSEX. It took me a long time after I finished the puzzle to figure that one out. I too was very suspicious of the __TB ending, but when I had L_U at 53 across, there was only one letter that would go there, and that made LAOTSE inevitable. So I gritted my teeth and entered the T and got the happy completed puzzle sign. Whew! Love BADABING at 1A.

  2. 15:27
    Luckily, I know of Hoda, although that is the one name by which she's known. The "Kotb" part needed to be filled in with crosses, which I thought fair. I also thought that FAIRSEX was a fine, if surprising, answer. I suppose that OSCAR and WILDE would have been teamed up on a Wednesday, but not a Friday. The clue for the tired ABETS (22A Helps in a way one shouldn't) was pretty good, certainly better than usual, and who doesn't love ARCSINE spelled out? GRAYAREA and SWANKY were enjoyable answers, also. I didn't love BBSHOT since that is never uttered by anyone. ORELSE had a better-than-usual clue, mostly because I like the word "ominous." On the whole, although I enjoyed the solve, I found this a bit on the easy side for a Friday.

  3. 11:25
    I knew HODAKOTB from the portrayal of her on Saturday Night Live. I don't think I've ever actually seen the genuine article.
    It's too bad this couldn't have run in a couple of weeks, to make the central answer even better - "Remember, remember, the fifth of November!"

  4. 11:05
    Fortunately I've heard the name HODAKOTB just enough to get that filled in. The rest seemed reasonable enough to yield one of my better Friday times.