Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Steven E. Atwood


Were it not for the sort of SSE section of the puzzle, this would have whipped by for a Wednesday. But I was stuck because I had entered COSin for COSEC (it's been an awful long time since trigonometry), and had EPic for EPOS. Then when I looked at 70A: Beat people? I had n__c. I thought about "narc" - see? I didn't miss the joke, but then who is this Frida KAHLa?

When in doubt, take it out. Then STOMP went in, and the rest was history. Not helped by the "huh?" clue at 67A: Dagwood's bratty neighbor (ELMO). I suppose I should be grateful it wasn't clued with Sesame Street. In fact, a brief Google search of famous people named Elmo turns up hardly anybody I've heard of. How about Elmo Shropshire, who sang "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"?

Anyway, I've been known to take some BRITISHISMS in my time. My daughters accuse me of being a wannabe Brit. It's a cute theme, with phrases that have words that mean something different across the pond, then clued that way. My favorite is probably 40A: *Catalog from a London raincoat designer? (MACBOOK). But really, mostly my reactions were polite smiles.

Still, I enjoyed the puzzle. It contains not only ANNIE Lennox but also DEBORAH (better known as Debbie) Harry, for a double dose of New Wave goodness. Add in George WENDT and there was a strong 1980s feel.

Strange that KAN appears for the second day in a row, this time not highlighting Manhattan but Dwight D. Eisenhower. Also, I prefer "tempi" to TEMPOS, but that's just me.

Ooh. I just noticed that ISM appears in the grid separately from BRITISHISMS. That's actually a major problem, really. Does it invalidate the puzzle? Weird that they let that go.

1A: Man's name that means "king" (ROY) - C+. The streak of "meh" 1A answers continues.

- Colum


  1. 7:02
    I had the same two missteps as you did, with COSin and EPic, and I also entered Rex right off the bat at 1A. Hah!

    "Polite smiles"... how very British of you indeed! :)

    I smiled too, and overall (the ISMs notwithstanding) I enjoyed it.

  2. 7:00
    Of course, COSEC went right in for old Huygens here; trig is never far from my thoughts. I, too, politely smiled at the theme answers, and I also agree with Colum on TEMPOS, and the blah-ness of the 1A answers of late. I never heard of this Frida KAHLO person, but Dagwood's neighbor ELMO is very well known to this daily reader of the comics. SCAMP is nice, but I wish STRIP were clued a bit more blue; that would have been more FUN.

  3. 7:01
    Wow look at the proximity of those times.

    Despite being a math major, it has been too long and I did not get COSEC straight away. And EPOS is plain ridiculous. But I managed to work through that section with reasonable celerity anyhow, since I was sure about KAHLO and that led to COPS and so on.

    Like Horace, I also had REX for 1A for a while.

    Finally, although I've seen ENOKI now about a dozen times in these puzzles, I still usually end up writing in something like ATOKI for ETAKI no good reason. I need to either commit that to memory or just fill in the KI next time.

    1. I'm also a math major. It's always nice to know of others.