Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018, Alan Derkazarian


My goodness, I finished a Saturday more quickly than the Friday the day before. IMIMPRESSED!

It's always nice to start with a 1A that you know. In this case, 1A: What a physiognomist studies (FACES), I learned this word (or its root) from listening to Cats in my early years. While I heard it through Andrew Lloyd Webber, the original line is by T.S. Eliot (TSE, as Horace noted from yesterday's puzzle):

"At the sight of that placid and bland physiognomy,
When he sits in the sun on the vicarage wall,
The oldest inhabitant croaks:
Well of all things...
I believe it is old Deuteronomy!"

Anyway, things moved a pace from there. I enjoyed 22A: 30 on a table (ZINC). I was not surprised by the hidden capital in 14D: Field work (NORMARAE), but I was set back by having LANGUid instead of LANGUOR (wonderful word). The other misleading capital clue, 29A: London or Manchester (WRITER) definitely threw me for a loop.
Which do we like better? The real Anthony EDEN, or the one played by Mr. Knightley?

It's a bit of a SORESPOT to me that two different fast food chains are referenced here, first with EGGMCMUFFIN, second with the COLONEL (although I do appreciate the absurdity of the recent commercials for that particular chain). It reminds me too much of the Glutton-In-Chief.

It was also ROUGHIT to come across both REARER and FUELERS, not to mention HIREES. These are terms that are only in currency in crossword puzzles, it seems to me. I'd never heard of Charles HAID, but the crosses were fair here.

But overall, I enjoyed this solve. It was challenging, but moved fairly smoothly. Whenever I felt stuck, I discovered I'd overlooked a clue that helped me along. And after all, any time EULER is represented, it's a good day.

GODEEP, Auntie Mame! GODEEP!

- Colum


  1. 26:15
    This was a good Saturday for me. Definitely not faster than yesterday. (Slower, even, than tomorrow's!) I, sadly, did not get FACES off the clue, although it definitely looks familiar now. I did get 1A before 1D, though, and from that F I guessed FELIx. "Xinc" would be a fun alternate spelling of the element, though, wouldn't it?

    I was happy they chose to go with CANINES instead of "canids," which they could have done. This prompted me to look up both "camelid" (from yesterday) and "cameline," and those two are not interchangeable. "Cameline" is a fabric made from camel hair. Interesting, no?

    I was fooled by the hidden capitals in both "Field work" (NORMARAE) and "Hope was once its driving force" (USOTOUR). Hah! Overall, it was a slow solve, but a fun one.

    But what the hell is a WATERDOG?...

  2. 19:50
    Having almost nothing filled on after my initial pass, I was pleased just to be able to finish this one.

  3. 27:40
    Pretty fast for me for a Saturday. I never heard of HAID either, but the crosses, as Colum mentions, are quite fair. I also agree that the recent COLONEL ads are great, especially the Norm Macdonald ones. EULER makes a puzzle great.