Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017, Alex Eylar

12:45 (FWTE)

This is such a perfect theme. I'm deeply in awe. What a fantastic idea: those silly cross-referencing clues are used in a meta fashion. When I came across 17A: See 58-Across, and then went to 58A: See 17-Across, I was confused to say the least. Even once I intuited TAUTOLOGY for one, I was loath to put the same answer in at the other, until it hit me. It's describing the answers!

Thus, 25A: See 25-Across is RECURSION. 36A: See 66-Across is AWILDGOOSECHASE, because there is no 66-Across. Brilliant. And the one that made me laugh out loud came at 46A: See ??-Across (AMBIGUITY). Hah! Incredible. I might go so far as to say this is my favorite theme of the year, probably mostly because I can only remember the themes of the last couple of weeks. But still.

I am embarrassed to say that I left SAhARI in place and didn't discover it until the end. I was caught somewhere between SAFARI (the actual answer, of course) and the Sahara, which is sort of close to where you might experience the other. Well, they're both in Africa at least. I feel less bad about leaving ERIk in place. Except the clue specifies that M. Rohmer was French, so that K seems pretty out of place. Not to mention that CRISkO seems suddenly strangely Germanic.

My hardest section was in the W, where I had COUNTmeIn for a long time. Meanwhile, 24D: Come down hard? (HAIL) was a great clue, and I couldn't see it, while PONIED and GROANED were both opaque because of missing COUNTONIT. When in doubt, take it out, again. That's two days running!

Nothing much else to say, except to point out all of the HAMS and SYRUPS that are lying about. Oh, and 43D: Corn kernel, e.g. (NIBLET) is wonderful.

1A: Almanac entry (FACT) - C-. So meh. When, oh when, will I get an exciting 1A? Perhaps on the rest of this turn?

- Colum


  1. 9:42
    Yes this was wonderful. I felt like it was mocking itself, and the whole Thursday NYT genre, all at once. From the farcical to the sublime.

    Other than briefly having BUMDRAW and SWINIER (rather than BUMDEAL and SLIMIER), not too much trouble with the rest of it. The crosswordnati who can write in answers straight away for the likes of CIS, ESSEN, and ACAI were probably able to make quick work of this as well.

  2. 21:51
    I agree that this was an excellent theme, even though it's well known that I prefer a proper rebus on Thursdays. 63A Snookums (TOOTS) is fantastic, and I enjoyed BARBET, instead of the more often seen "bar tab," at 51A, which slowed me down in the SW for awhile since I entered the latter off of the clue. CABINBOYS reminds me that I still need to see the Chris Elliot movie "Cabin Boy" which came out in 1994 and I've been meaning to see ever since. HAMS had me flummoxed for a little while, too (I'd entered tAgS off of the _A_S. Normal time for a Thursday for me.

  3. Agree about the theme, especially since it is my chance to get back at those cross-reference clues. Had rAmBLE before BABBLE (at least some dictionaries have rum deal but I can't make as good a case for PROmST other than the usual "never heard of him" one). Kept wanting alarm for the wake up, but BUGLE is cuter (not sure either one would particularly justify a question mark though). Lets see, ABORT could have been scrub, all this plus the usual proper names added up to a slow solve, but I did finish. 46:13.