Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017, Alan Arbesfeld


Yesterday's puzzle is a tough act to follow. Maybe Mr. Arbesfeld now regrets that he called Mr. Mahnken and said, I got next. :)

We have an "uplifting" theme today achieved by ratcheting up the affirmation value of the descriptive words from four movie titles. So, "Ordinary People" becomes SPECIALPEOPLE and "My Fair Lady" becomes MYAWESOMELADY, which, incidentally, is the only movie I knew based on the actors named in the clue. 44D. provided some supporting movie-themed material with MGMLION (Iconic movie studio symbol).

It's always a pleasure to see the ENTERPRISE mentioned (11D. Fictional ship on a five-year mission). TRALA, the answer to 26D. (Carefree syllables)  brought Nanki-Poo's song "The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring" from The Mikado pleasantly to mind. I thought the clue Con at 48D. was nice for it's cagey ambiguity (INMATE). And who doesn't like a Whiskey SOUR? Except maybe Huygens. I believe he finds them too mixy.

My favorite clue today might be 30D. Slide presentation? (AMEBA), although the odd spelling variation of the answer was less appealing.


I wasn't too WHIPped up about 1A (Blender button). It doesn't grate on me, but it doesn't really crush that entry position, either. 

IMSAD when I see a lot of product and company names in the puzzle. In today's grid DIRECTV practically insists upon itself with its position smack dab in the middle. And it's not alone in there, where we also have COORS, RAYBAN, and ALPO.

I was not aware that PANCAKE had become a verb meaning to flatten. I now plan to pancake my stomach this weekend.



  1. 9:05
    I chuckled at this theme, and at this review. I tried something other than WHIR immediately at 1A. Maybe "chop," which worked with HOOP but nothing else. And I think we've seen SHEB before, but I did not remember it.

    Enjoyed INNOCENT, ENGAGEMENT, and FEIGN. No real gimmick today, which was a little sad, but so it goes.

  2. 8:09
    Good time today - maybe because the Thursday twist this time was not as tricky as the usual.

    I liked that I somehow wrote in ADLAI for 5A, despite not having heard this slogan before tat I can recall.

    Toughest part for me was the whole CUBE / AMEBA / TMAN section.

  3. 6:46
    It's fine. Maybe I should uplift that? It's pretty fine. I just didn't love it. But I did like the clue for DIRECTV. I was way off, even when faced with ____TV!

  4. 16:39
    Not my favorite Thursday, that's for sure, but I guess we can give NODS at least to the ENTERPRISE and the nice clue for ENGAGEMENT (28D Gig). Shout out to 22D > 0: Abbr. (POS), even though it's an abbreviation. I also liked 38D "No rush" (ICANWAIT). And yes, a Whiskey SOUR is far too mixy (or is it mixey?). I just like the whiskey part, neat, two fingers.