Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017, Herre Schouwerwou


Wow, is it November already? Months just fly by when you're not doing the daily blog. I have quite the large pair of shoes to step into. Frannie's posts this past month have had me chuckling all along.

Hey, look! ANIMAL / CRACKERS! Who doesn't like those? I mean, I liked them when I was a kid. I don't think I ever loved them. But today we get a puzzle where the term is taken literally. There are four exemplars split by black squares on that NE to SW diagonal, including a GOR / ILLA, a MON / KEY, a ZE / BRA, and my favorite, an ELE / PHANT. According to the picture below, three of the four were true crackers.
No zebra sadly
What I most enjoyed about this puzzle was that I had absolutely no idea what the theme was going to be. In fact, I wondered if a themeless had snuck into the Wednesday slot. And then the revelation. Very nice.

There was little to be annoyed at in the fill. I've never heard of SMAZE, but apparently it's actually simply a mixture of smoke and haze, thus the portmanteau of the clue. In other areas, LSTS is a golden oldie that's really a crutch for constructors. And nobody likes 63A: GPS part: Abbr. (SYS). An abbreviation from an acronym. Oof.

Clues I enjoyed: 21D: You might give him the business (SON). 41A: Houston of Texas (SAM). 47A: Southern side (PONE). Those are all very nice misdirections. I also enjoyed 27A: Japan's national fruit (PERSIMMON). A bit of unknown and interesting trivia is generally welcome round these parts.

I guess cluing PALSY with "____-walsy" is likely preferable to a reference to a nervous disorder. I guess. Maybe I'm biased.

1A: Chaney of horror movies (LON) - C-.

- Colum


  1. 11:28 (FWOE)
    I guess that even though it's the Halloween season, I'd have to agree with the C- for old LON. Nice theme, and very well done. I made my error at the STELE/TOONIE cross since I just dropped lOONIE in off of the clue without reading it too carefully, or its cross at all. Who ever heard of a TOONIE? We've all heard of a STELE, though not a slele. I liked having GAMMARAY spelled out, but not NOGOAREA or ASSAYERS so much, since no one ever says either. I also liked that RCMP crossed ROYAL

    1. Although is it really so remarkable that RCMP crosses ROYAL at their initial letter? It would be more interesting if it crossed elsewhere.

    2. More impressive, certainly, especially if it were at the C.

  2. 10:08
    I'm a little late to the party here, but I still wish to complain about 4A: Low-quality paper (RAG) ... oh wait... never mind. I just got it. They're talking about a newspaper, not actual paper. Because rag paper is actually quite high-quality. Ironic, that - no?


    Anyway, nice detective work on the crackers, there, Colum. Zebra! Hmph! Interloper!

    1. Ah, thanks for the clarification on rag. That puzzled me too, but it is always nice to think you've found an error, only to spot another way to read the clue/answer which makes it okay.