Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tuesday, October 3, 2017, Chuck Deodene

*completed while also feigning occasional interest in a staff meeting (don't tell my boss).

I won't rate 1A as I found it VOLGA. :)

The CENTER ISLAND theme is nice, although it took me a minute to figure it out after I completed the puzzle. See * above. In the middle of the four theme answers, an island is discovered. We have balTIMORean, bushELBAsket, statIONAgent, and forMALTAlks. My favorite, in a way, is BALTIMOREAN because the clue is funny (17A. One might stare at the Sun - ha!). My least favorite is FORMALTALKS (58A. Discussions that might lead to a treaty) because the clue is so meh, although I have nothing against Malta.

My favorite clue over all is 22D. Bar habituƩ's order, with "the" (USUAL) because who doesn't like to go to a bar and order the usual? My usual at our local is Old Overholt, which I take neat, like my men.

Other clues I enjoyed include:
9D. Served in blazing liquor (FLAMBE)
31A. Prefix with sex or cycle (UNI)

I thought the clue for 18D. Famed German hypnotist (MESMER) was a bit of an understatement as we have the word mesmerize in English, meaning to hypnotize.

My least favorite entry today was ETEXT for 13D. Writing in digital format. Does that make every email, Word document, tweet, and blog post an etext? At that point, it loses all meaning. For some reason, my app wouldn't show the clue for 10D today, with answer TEN, so it's also a candidate for least favorite.

HELL makes its second appearance in a row with INHELL at 38D. Really suffering, so to speak. Maybe it really is end days and the lovely people at NYTX are trying to warn us.



  1. 5:18
    I would have preferred "Foryal Talks" because such an important set of talks was held at Yalta. Too soon?
    Anyway... The clue for 10D was an arrow pointing back at the number of the clue. Didn't like that, even though I often like a bit of meta. Nice to have HIS and HER in the puzzle, both clued with reference to some unspecified royal family.

  2. 5:29

    I actually like the arrow clue, because it's like a rebus: write TEN, down. I don't know... maybe it doesn't take much to amuse me sometimes.

    Decent puzzle. It took me forever to get INHELL, and I hadn't figured out the theme before I read this review.

  3. 11:11 (typical Tuesday)

    I see that NORMA is clued with respect to some 20th century movie rather than the bel canto opera (no, really I don't long for the Maleska era, even though I can see why you'd think that).

    And I did like the HIS and HER clues, and yes even the arrow.

    Hard to argue with VOLGA. Well enough known but it is nice to have a river other than RHINE or RHONE (or, I suppose, SEINE).

  4. 7:47
    I'd rather have seen NORMA referencing the Milky Way arm of the same name. The way it was clued, though, was nice trivia. I suppose it was able to be inferred since Norman was such a Mama's boy. I didn't know the theme until reading this review, either, but didn't look too hard at the puzzle after completing it. I also like VOLGA, TEN, HIS and HER. I entered "Her" at 24D before reading the clue for MIR and correcting it. I didn't like STATIONAGENT, a phrase that I've never used, although, to be fair, I don't spend any appreciable time at train depots.