Saturday, December 23, 2017

Saturday, December 23, 2017,

0:25:45 (F.W.O.E.)

My string of FWOEs continues. Today my error was in the word NOXZEMA (3D: Product once known as "The Miracle Cream of Baltimore"). I knew it had some kind of spelling oddity, but I chose to add a C instead of a Z. When I finally changed it, the answer AZT (19A: Drug sought by Roy Cohn in "Angels in America") made perfect sense, but somehow I had finished solving without noticing that error. And speaking of that quadrant, I didn't love IHEARIT for "Shh, something's coming!" It just doesn't seem like anything anyone would say. They'd more likely say "What's that noise?" or "Who's there!" IHEARIT. Hmpf.

I just don't seem to have the holiday spirit this year. My grumpish reviews have been criticized by most of the commenters, but why stop now, right? All you old people out there, did you ever call the above a RINGTAB? No? Me either. I called it a "pull tab" if I called it anything, and that's how this jpeg I pulled off Google Images was titled. I'm giving it a D.

But really, I kind of liked this puzzle as a whole. It was a perfect Saturday, which is to say I entered almost nothing confidently on my first pass through all the clues, and then things started trickling in, and I pieced it together. Luckily, CHANCETHERAPPER (34A: Hip-hop performer who was 2016's Best New Artist Grammy winner) was somewhere rattling around in my head, even though I don't know anything he or she has ever done. Another feature of a perfect Saturday puzzle is that it contains at least one word I don't know. Today, we got two - SATRAPS (8A: Provincial despots) was one, and when I finished and didn't get the "Congratulations!" screen, I spent quite a bit of time wondering if "10D: Hightail it" could be anything but TEAR, or if there were another Russian name like PAVLOVA (13D: Meringue-based dessert named for a ballerina). AINU (47D: Japanese native) was the other.

Another thing I liked about this puzzle: 29D: Discuss thickness with a doctor? (LISP). Ha! Also, "Import" was a great clue for ACCOUNT. And it was a nice surprise to see TOM in the grid. We don't get that entry very much. :)

Overall, thumbs up. Despite a few quibbles, and a little glue, I enjoyed it. Hope you did too!

- Horace


  1. 12:09
    I also wrote in CHANCETHERAPPER straight away, and ITALIANAMERICAN soon after (with a small tweak upon realizing that Mr. Giuliani and La Guardia are not in fact Iranian). So initial signs were encouraging.

    This is normally the point that I get excited about finishing in record time, but then the Saturday puzzle has me spend 20 minutes on an obscure corner. But somehow this time I escaped relatively unscathed.

    I also had PULLTAB in there for a long time for 1A. RINGTAB is not a thing that I am familiar with.

    My unhappy clue for today was ATEST (44D). I never seem to know if it is HTEST, TTEST, ATEST, and so on. Fortunately, "stupefied" was good enough to figure out AWED (44A).

  2. 11:05
    I really enjoyed this puzzle because I was able to work through it even in sections (like the SW) where I couldn't enter anything.

  3. 25:28
    Great Saturday offering. I know of CHANCETHERAPPER from a television commercial for some Halloween candy that he recently did. Other than that, I'm completely unfamiliar with him. ITALIANAMERICAN went in off of the _________CAN. The other long answers, SEXIESTMANALIVE and STUDIOEXECUTIVES took a bit longer; nice that they each have an X. Mmmmm...TREESAP and BUTTERNUT. EXLOVER (38D Dear departed?) isn't great, and I'm not sure why MTEVEREST contains an abbreviation since the clue certainly doesn't. I tried Mountetna at first, but corrected it relatively quickly. I agree about IHEARIT and the RINGTAB.