Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017, Brian Thomas


Groaner car racing puns based on nationalities. Hmmm. The only one I actually liked was CZECHEREDFLAG. It looks excellent in the grid. The other three I grade as follows:

POLEINTOFIRST: D-. This doesn't even sound right. I thought it was a joke on "pole position".

So anyway, that gotten out of the way, we can instead pay more attention to the fill, which is fine, if nothing special. In the NW corner, there's the vague and fine clue at 1D: Diamond, e.g. (SHAPE). Many possibilities there. 20D: Rare grandfather clock numeral (IIII) is fun to look at, and I have seen it on some clock faces, so I'll accept what might otherwise seem like a piece of constructor desperation.

6D was unwelcome in my eyes, slightly misdirecting clue notwithstanding.

Happy to see HARRIET and the complete RASTAFARI in the NE corner. In the SW corner, 32D: Ponytail holder (SCRUNCHIE) was my favorite answer in the grid. In our household we call them "ucks" because that was the sound my wife made whenever our daughter's hair would escape from her grasp while trying to put the scrunchie on. 39D: Where China is (FAREAST) is obviously entirely relative. I don't think the Chinese would put it that way.

But enough ZANY remarks. I didn't hate it.

1A: Wound on a dueler (STAB) - C-. The English language itself is wounded by the syntax of that clue.

- Colum


  1. 5:06

    Funny you thought RASTAFARI was complete, because I was looking for a final "an." Also, as an unrepentant Latinist, the answer seems plural, while the clue calls for a singular...

    I, too, loved SCRUNCHIE, but the one that surprised me the most was 11D: Circle on a cube (PIP). They're talking about dice here, right?

    EREMITE was pretty un-Tuesdayish, if you ask me. That's just French for "hermit." Why not just use English?

    I liked mention of the Finns, of course, but sheesh, these puns are the kind of puns that give puns a bad name. Still, it's a debut, and it had some bright spots, so let's say it was fine.

  2. There's one answer which I'm having trouble getting out of my mind. When I read "where China is", I briefly considered the question and confidently filled in cAbineT without any crosses. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the constructor obviously lacked my smarts and wit. The puzzle was fine. I'll get over myself soon enough as well, so need to worry on that point.

  3. 10:20
    I'll agree with Horace on EREMITE and the pun level, and on the mention of both Finns and Poles. I won't FRET too much about the ZANY STATE of the puns themselves (that's the best I can do). And also, is it intentional to have ZANY TWEET YUK and POST down the bottom?