Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017, Dan Schoenholz


So were you able to answer the question posed in today's puzzle note? What "very unusual property" do the starred answers share? Spoiler alert! It's that the last word in the phrase is a homonym of the first letter of the first word. And as for the "familiar two-word exclamation, of five and three letters" that shares that property, I have come up with "Golly Gee." (They said "familiar," not "popular.") I will keep thinking, though, as I write the rest of this review, to see if I can come up with another one. So thumbs up on the theme.

I generally (not OVERALL) leave segmentation of the grid discussion to my co-reviewer Colum, but today I feel I must mention it, as the entire NW and SE corners are accessed through a single square. I didn't notice it while I was doing the puzzle, so it couldn't have been that much of a problem, but I'm guessing it added to the OVERALL (not generally) difficulty at least a little.

Also adding to the difficulty were entries like the heretofore unheard of by me IVO (15A: Literature Nobelist Andric), the unexpected MOONBASE (10D: Hypothetical settlement), and KSTATE (31A: The Wildcats of the Big 12 Conference, informally). Oh, if only I had taken even a passing interest in college sports at some point in my life... but I didn't and I won't, so if you want to beat me with this type of abbreviation and team name stuff, go ahead.

But that sounds negative. Really, this puzzle had a ton of good material. The central CRAZYIDEA (21D: Surprisingly, it might work) crossing themer BUSYBEE (35A: *Sort with a full schedule) is quite good. And LOSSLEADERS (11D: Big bargains, maybe), TRIPLEAXELS, GONDOLA (41D: Ski slope sight), and BAKESALE (35D: Common fund-raiser) are all strong. I don't consider a LATEFEE a Visa problem so much as the result of a problem, but I'll let that pass.

So... not a rebus, but a little extra wordplay and a quiz, so definitely Thursdayish. Overall, I liked it.

Now let's see... anybody come up with any more phrases? Of any length? What about Chicago's "Loop El" train? Or the story of the "Princess and the Pea?" Or Holland's Zuider Zee?

- Horace


  1. 9:18
    Golly gee is clearly the answer they had in mind. How about "In a pig's eye"? "Really are!" "Qurly Q?" Okay, maybe not that last one. MOONBASE and LATEFEE both got me. Excellent misdirections in the clues. I did not like the partial ADUEL.

  2. 11:32
    Funny, I spent a minute thinking about the answer and didn't come up with anything great.

    But then I woke up in the middle of the night and instantly thought "GOLLY GEE". Go figure.

    So Horace, I say to you on your answer... RIGHT YOU ARE... TO A TEE... YOU KNOW WHY

  3. 18:43
    I'll just put it out there: TANGENT - A, for obvious reasons. MOONBASE was excellent, and perhaps soon-to-be not hypothetical. Boo to WINTER.

    1. Ahhh! I forgot about 1A, and I was all set to give it an A myself, even though it is not at all funny. :) Thanks for mentioning it.