Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018, Joel Fagliano


Colum: Sunday's here, which means it's handoff time, and I don't mean of the football variety, even though that's been going on all day. No, instead in our new system here at Horace & Frances (featuring yours truly), it's switchover day. Horace and I thought we'd discuss the puzzle together by phone and then trade off paragraphs.

Today, we both agreed that the theme is a construction of real beauty. For most of the puzzle, I had no idea what was going on. I was solving with Cece, and I commented that it felt like a themeless (and a fairly easy one at that). I was somewhat annoyed that both NSC and NSA were in the grid, but it turned out that former was necessary. Then eventually I saw the clue for 67A: Illegal interference ... or what can be found in this puzzle's 1st, 3rd, 7th, 15th, 19th, and 21st rows? Even then, it didn't become clear until I solved it and found OBSTRUCTIONOFJUSTICE. That together with the puzzle's title finally made it clear just exactly what was going on.

Horace: I was cruising right along on the top, and when I got to 67A (the revealer) I had enough crosses to drop it in right away. The theme answers lit up, as they do, and I think I looked first at the 22A row, in which I could see nothing, so I thought nothing more about it until after I finished. As previously stated, I thought the theme was outstanding. I was not previously aware of ANSONIA (110A: Connecticut city near New Haven) (population c. 19,000. For comparison, Natick, MA is c. 32,800.) so I wasn't so happy about that clue. Also, OTRANTO (pop. 5,700) is not exactly on the Grand Tour circuit.

Aside from that, Colum, on the phone, pointed out pointedly that BREYERS (120A: Häagen-Dazs alternative) is a little weak, being simply a possessive of the Justice's last name.

So now what? Do you do another paragraph Colum? And who picks the photo?

Colum: Oh, yes I do indeed do another paragraph, having just witnessed the ludicrous miracle comeback win by the Vikings (or was it a blown loss by the Saints?). Did you know that Häagen-Dazs was a completely made up name, created by a Brooklyn Jewish man, supposedly because he wanted to acknowledge all the Danes had done for the Jews during the Holocaust? Mind you, that's about as far from Danish as the subtitles in Monty Python and the Holy Grail are from Swedish.

I think I've gotten off track. Horace and I agreed that the clue for 16D: Closest to base? (EVILEST) is likely the best in the puzzle, and that 91: Got down (ATE) is yet another in a long line of clues that surprise us by being about eating. Elsewhere, STUPIDS still has me chuckling. Because it's so stupid, dum-dum!

Right. So. On to another week, with Horace blogging. It's been fun! And it's my week, so it's my photo.

- Colum


  1. Wow. What a finish. To that Vikings game, I mean. Just wow.

  2. 28:59
    I'm glad that I got in under 29. As is usual, one corner (the SW) held me up from around a 20 finish. The OTRANTO/ANSONIA cross was my final entry. I'm not too familiar with a HOPSTEP. I do like that DIETTIP is above BREYERS in the SE. Though fast, it was a fun puzzle. Shout out to GANYMEDE, which went in without crosses.