Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday, December 16, 2017, Sam Ezersky

0:15:23 (F.W.O.E.)

A mostly smooth Saturday with one stumbling block for me. Knowing that O-negative was somewhat rare, I guessed oTYPE for 45A: Uncommon blood classification (BTYPE), and since I couldn't recall Marcus WELBY, M.D. - a show that went off the air in 1976 (ok, there were a few TV movies in the 80s, and yes I should have known!) - I was destined for FWOEdom. Maybe it's just sour grapes, but I'll argue that the clue "Uncommon blood classification" is almost worthless. O-negative is more rare than B-positive, and AB-negative is more rare than B-negative. They're all "uncommon," so think of a better way to clue it.


There were some bright spots today in SHIRK (23D: Duck), ORIENT (17A: Position), ZEROG (9D: Astronaut's experience), and ANAGRAMS (32D: Goes from Tokyo to Kyoto, say) (nice), many entries were just kind of sitting there. UVLAMP, ITTEAM, MAGNAVOX, and even RAWFOOTAGE (19A: Feed for news headquarters). MUSTARDGAS (21A: W.W. I horror) is technically "colorful," but still, it's a war horror, and so does not provide a happy thrill.

1A: OCTUPLET (Extra-special delivery?) - B+
Fave: MATHLETE (37D: Certain high school whiz kid) - Shout out to the nerds.
Least: RETIED (33D: Fixed, as a bow) - It's not that bad, and it can lead you astray by thinking of a violin bow, but I don't know, I just didn't like it.

I liked ONETOWATCH (25D: Up-and-comer) and ALITALIA (10D: One way to Rome) (even though it's a brand name), and speaking of planes, I also liked TARMAC (44D: Locale for touchdowns), but overall it was fine, but not something to write home about.

- Horace


  1. 16:23
    What is this BTYPE? Nobody says this. "Type B," certainly. But I was convinced it would be "AB___". And that made things take longer.

    I did not love this puzzle. I am amused that Rex felt this was an excellent puzzle while yesterday's was not. I think it has more to do with how easily he finishes it than the actual quality...

  2. 20:38
    I couldn't immediately recall TEKWAR, but WELBY fell in off of the W. I didn't realize it went off the air so long ago, though. Seemed a bit easy for a Saturday. It would have been nice to see a little homage to Beethoven somewhere, even though we're not certain of his birth date.

  3. 11:05
    Somehow this one went smoothly for me. Perhaps I lucked out, having watched a few Marcus Welby reruns as a kid in the 70s.

    I had to take a wild guess on the TEKWAR / RAP cross. I am not familiar with RAP as "least bit".