Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017, Mark Diehl


Well, well, well... this makes up for yesterday! I seem to have more trouble with Mr. Diehl's work than I do some other constructors, but trouble is just what I'm looking for on a Saturday and he sure delivered today.
Patron Saint of Headaches
I think my first correct entry was DORRIT (7D: Dickens title character), but before that I had entered "coroners" for 1D: Ones involved in forensics (DEBATERS) (There's some debate about whether "forensics" is really equivalent to "debating"), "visiting" for 2D: Stopping in (ONAVISIT), "servein" for 3D: Not let (UNRENTED), and "Ebook" for 6D: Something read with a scroll? (EMAIL). I know that those don't all work well together, but sometimes on a late-week puzzle I'll just put in my guesses and try to sift through them later. Sometimes it works, sometimes, like today, it doesn't.

So I ended up leaving the top in a state of terrible disarray and moving down to the bottom, which filled in fairly easily. Luckily, I am enough of an OLDTIMER to have needed just a few crosses for SALBANDO, and I am plenty old enough to have dropped in YOUNGER for "41D: How hair dye might make you look." And the less said about DIPSOMANIAC, the better. :)

BURR (52A: First vice president not to become president) took longer than it probably should have. My first thought was "Gore," but my Saturday impulsiveness does have some limits. The ELLENDEGENERES quote "I like my men like I like my coffee. I don't drink coffee" got a chuckle, as did OLMEC (50A: Ancient carvers of giant stone heads) - because it reminds us of a Simpsons episode wherein Mr. Burns gives the Simpsons such a head as a present, and it takes up most of their basement. Also, Frannie pointed out that SENIOREDITORS looks like it might pair nicely with ENNIOMORRICONE (14A: "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" composer), if you read it as if it were Spanish. Heh.

1A: Challenge with gusto (DOUBLEDOGDARE) - A. Solid. Brought a smile.
Best: BENE (25D: Forum fine?). Ahh... Latin jokes. I was just paging through a Mediaeval Latin book at bedtime last night. No joke!
Worst: ONAVISIT (2D: Stopping in). Harsh, maybe, but I just don't buy this as a normal thing people say.

Overall, though, pretty impressive wide-open puzzle, and a fun Saturday challenge.

- Horace


  1. 24:30
    I don't know... ONAVISIT? Didn't gramma say that all the time? or was that always makingAVISIT??

    1. That was "make a visit" which Sue and I (and Amy) all use to this day. Hah!

  2. 14:14
    Helped immensely by knowing ENNIOMORRICONE from the clue and guessing ELLENDEGENERES from the clue. The south was much easier for me than the north, in large part because of DEBATER, ONAVISIT, and UNRENTED. The symmetric answers in the SE are much more straightforward. Other names I got off the clues included STDENIS (because of other crossword puzzles) and JOANMIRO. My least favorite today is 8D: Alphabetical, e.g. (ORDERED). Shouldn't it be "ordering?" or "organization?" Or something? The adjectives don't line up for me.

    1. I predicted to Frannie that you would know that one. It was a big problem for us. Eventually, I just guessed at various Italian endings to get something going in the NE.

      And we both started with "in order" for 8D. Hmph!

  3. 28:58
    ORDERED seems fine to me; I mean, we have "ordered pairs" in mathematics. The north took up the last seven minutes for me. ENNIOMORRICONE is unknown to me, but thankfully I've read a great deal of Dickens (not Dikkens, the well-known dutch author), so the O of DORRIT was known, otherwise I'd probably have guessed an "a" for that spot. I didn't know of a GRACECUP, either. I remember the BARNYARDANIMALS toy quite well. SOLTI went in off of the S, BURR off of the U and STDENIS off of the S_D____.

  4. 22:03 (FWOE)
    Fortunately I was able to plod through this one without getting too stymied.

    I guessed wrong on the ENNIOMORRICONE / DORRIT cross, but don't feel too badly about that. Good to see that no one else had any problem with DORRIT.

    I had to get all 6 crosses for RIESEN chocolates, so that probably cost me some time compared to others. Also, I could have done without SOLTI and LOYD.

    A pretty grid design, making the pain worthwhile in the end.