Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017, Samuel A. Donaldson and Brad Wilbur


Thankfully, today's solve made me feel a little better about yesterday's DNF. There was a ton of stuff I didn't know in the puzzle, but still I solved it in a better-than-average time - for me - for a Saturday.

I didn't know DAMASCUS as the Mideast's City of Jasmine, HILARY B. Price, creator of "Rhymes with Orange," Sainted Archbishop ANSELM of Canterbury, Tara REID of the "Sharknado" films, SEGNO (score mark indicating a passage to be repeated), COACHK, IMARETS, ELENAS, SEASNAKE, and I've never heard of a JOBJAR. But, that didn't matter.

DAMASCUS is a solid 1A for a Saturday. Well, for any day really. I'd love to visit there some time. I liked the obscure STANHOPE carriage - a type I've heard of, but wasn't able to get without a few crosses. I started with barouche, which also happened to fit the squares, but probably not the description. I'm a little foggy on the finer points of your various horse-drawn vehicles.

I loved the MRMAGOO reference. "You've done it again." Ha! Part of a Connecticut trio? (CEE, 50A) didn't fool me for long. I was not familiar with HOTPEPPEREMOJIS as Sext symbols, but color me intrigued. I also like understated 41A Earnings in slang for BACON.  52D Small scrap had a nicely ambiguous clue that turned out to be SPAT. And ZIMBABWEAN has some hot ticket letters in it.


So, what's my beef? you ask. The answer TBONE. That's an odd duck of a clue/answer pair, if I ever saw one. Also, I think 32A could have used a better clue than Knotted for INATIE.  6D COSMICJOKE is kind of a cool answer, but I don't know of an example that fits the description. Anyone have one they want to share?



  1. 32:26
    Maybe, "A quasar and a black hole walked into a bar. Only the black hole was ever heard from again." Well, I'm no comedian. Oddly, there was a great deal that I, too, didn't know: THEMGS, STANHOPE, HILARY, ANSELM, SEGNO, COACHK, ELENAS, and that's just the acrosses. Luckily, I'm familiar with enough of the others to have filled in the grid in a better-than-average time for a Saturday for me, also. I didn't like that 1D had many possible answers. Of course, I wrote _SHARP immediately, but it could have been headed by C, D, F, G or A, if I've remembered correctly. I tried ironic where ENIGMA goes at first, but quickly took it out when MCESCHER and ROGUEONE became apparent. 36D Attractive (MAGNETIC) and 13D O.K.'d (GREENLIT) were great. I entered ZIMBABWEAN off of the Z from SCHNOZ, and other things, like IMLIKE (which I heard live, today, while walking the Cornell campus)and JOBJAR just fell in. I didn't enjoy either WEDO or TBONE, the latter called out by Frannie.

  2. 11:27
    Great themeless! I loved just about everything, but I definitely agree with TBONE. It would have been fine if it had been clued "What's my beef?" Because then the opinion would have been uncontestable. I'm also not entirely convinced by MAINGATE. But otherwise, great stuff. Even IMARETS got a smile from me. Classic crosswordese, there.

  3. 26:21
    A fun challenge. I spent quite a bit of time in the lower right, where JOBJAR and TBONE were not quick in coming. I think it was a guess on OMSK, and then WOBBLY that finally got the wheels turning. Then IMLIKE "sheesh! that was hard!"

  4. 15:21
    Not sure what allowed me to breeze through this one, but it was rather enjoyable all around.

    Never heard of SEGNO, ANSELM, OMSK, or MASSIF, but was able to guess my way through those few spots.