Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017, Evan Mahnken


Quite a clever and fun theme today! It took me a minute or two (see above) to catch on, but once I did, I had a great time with it. It's "just what a theme ought to be," said she, "sensible, good-humored, lively" - if I may borrow from Jane Austen for a moment. The theme pattern is strong, but not so strong that once you figure one out, you've figured them all out. The answers are common, natural expressions, and some of them made me LOL. I think 31D is my favorite: Where "menial" is in the dictionary? BENEATHME. Ha! BYITSELF is another good one (Where "isolated" is in the dictionary?). I could go on, but you've all done the puzzle yourselves, or you wouldn't be here.

Other bright spots include 26D. Glam rock? That one was a GEM. :) The clue at 61A (A small amount in science or a large amount in business) decidedly uptarded an old groaner like MIL. I was also très contente that 55D. (Parisian possessive) was MES and not ATOI, for once. Merci Mr. Mahnken!


I am giving 1A. "Exodus" hero (ARI) a C. It's not horrible, but it does nothing to draw one in, nor does it offer a hint at the fun of the rest of the puzzle.

My least favorite clue today is 35D. "After this, it's my turn" (IGOTNEXT). Both clue and answer are contrived and artificial 'sayings'. If I was playing a game with a person who actually said to me, "I got next" I would stare at them - taking another page out of Ms. Austen's book.



  1. 5:37
    What a winsome theme. I was especially pleased that the down theme answers used downward prepositions, while the across ones used horizontal ones. That's attention to detail. IGOTNEXT is familiar to me, not from games, but from sports. It's what one would say when arriving at a basketball court to announce your interest in being in the ensuing competition.

  2. 9:32
    I'm with Frannie on IGONEXT, and with Colum on the preposition placement, which I didn't notice until he mentioned it; very nice indeed. Of course, AROUNDNOON is kind of circular. Speaking of which, ORBITS is nice, but of course, Sen. Glenn had many more than three total since he later went back up on a space shuttle. This is a great theme and fun Wednesday.

  3. 7:13
    I've just got to chime in too to say that I really loved this puzzle - the constructor's debut! I believe I have also used the common IGOTNEXT in the context of sports or games, and have no problem with it. I'm a little surprised Frannie didn't mention BOREDOM, as she often cites it as one of the enemies of her own happiness.

    The preposition thing is cool indeed. Really, just a super puzzle.

  4. Maybe IGOTNEXT depends on where you grew up or your gender or something, but I certainly remember it from my childhood. Perhaps I still would, if I played pickup sports. Come to think of it, maybe this phrase would come in handy in the lobby of the hotel at the ACPT as people engage in various board or word games.

    Delightful theme and nice puzzle overall. I did have to look up New York archbishops on Wikipedia to finish the West, and I wasn't quite sure about NEARMINT (is that a common phrase?), but generally went smoothly.

  5. 6:54
    I really enjoyed this one. Unique theme and executed flawlessly.

    I really need to learn AMARNA. I've seen that come up several times now in key places.