Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017, Jacob Stulberg


When it comes to information about the world's volcanoes and their relative positions on the earth, I'm sorry to say my notebook couldn't be more MTE. On the other hand, I do know a lot about TI[MTE]BOW, so I was still able to solve the puzzle, albeit at a rather sedate pace and with one error. I guessed wrong at the cross between Norfolk Southern and others: Abbr. (44D) and46A "Bandstand Boogie" bandleader Larry (ELGART). I guessed RtS for 44D, but with a little more thinking after the "Almost there" message, I realized RRS was wanted.

The theme charms and amuses me. I love it that the name of MTEREBUS has the word rebus right in it. What could be more apt for a rebus puzzle? Apt!

Of the theme answers, the clue for FORTSU[MTE]R was my favorite (Site of a famous opening shot). And, although not one of my personal strengths, I liked the clue (Not remain aloof) and answer (MIX) at 35D.

The clue that surprised me the most today was "Courageous and energetic sort, they say" (ARIES). I don't know that I've ever seen a clue based on alleged characteristics of an astrological sign before. I would never have gotten it without crosses. I'm guessing Horace enjoyed it. And possibly 39A (TIS) as well.

I didn't enjoy the clue for 1A at all (Doesn't lose) and the answer is no prize either (HAS). It's fine, but it's certainly not fine. I also thought the cluing Smell like for REEKOF at 49D was a little off.



  1. 10:02 (FWOE)
    Funnily enough, my error came in the same answer as yours, but at a different location. I guessed zAMBIA for the country with an Atlantic port, thus demonstrating my complete lack of African geographic knowledge. Turns out Zambia has no port at all, let alone one on the Atlantic. As Larry ELGART was unknown to me, this Natick was my undoing.

    I don't think the rebus really works. Why is MTE the rebus? Does anybody call Mount Erebus "Mount E?" I somehow doubt it. And while I'm on the subject, you can have WISDO[MTE]ETH on the top of the mouth, so the clue, while partially correct, didn't work for me. I initially had bottO[MTE]ETH, which fit.

    1. Oh, wait. I get it! MTE REBUS. It's literal! I actually like it a ton more now.

  2. 25:59
    Fortunately I knew Larry Elgart, but spent forever staring at the OAFS section. Kept thinking AA was the alcoholic group, hadn't fully figured out the rebus thing, and above all SCORN seems a much better answer than STERN for 7D: Finger wagging, say. And then for the PIKE/EROS/LEFT section I wanted a lot of other things like MAKO/EGOS/RIFT and so on.

    This whole thing just wasn't much fun for me, even after I figured out the rebus.

  3. @Colum, thanks for making that clear! I was stumped as well. Not by the fill, but by the conceit of the theme. Yes, it makes much more sense now!

  4. 20:16 (FWOE)

    I'm with Colum on the FWOE, and Berman on the difficulties in the North. I, too, guessed zAMBIA (I sure knew it wasn't "Nambia!"). I'll have to brush up on the ol' African geography.

    And being an ARIES, as Frannie well knows, I courageously and energetically dropped that answer into the grid without crosses. :)

  5. 28:30 (FWOE)
    Same error placement as Colum and Horace, but I did, in fact, guess nAMBIA, as I was sure it sounded vaguely familiar. As everyone knows, I love a rebus, and I really enjoyed the literal MTEREBUS revealer, and the fact that the exact number of affected squares wasn't mentioned. Sadly, though I could picture her, it took me three crosses to remember ERNESTINE by name.

    1. I was also bummed that it took me a few crosses to get ERNESTINE, even though I could close my eyes and see her