Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018, Ryan McCarty and Alan Southworth


A classic  what shall we call it? - subtraction theme today, where a word (or syllable) is left out of theme answers and clued wackily. Or, in three of the four cases today, not so wackily. 17A: Rooftop heist? (HIGHROBBERY) is the only funny one. The other three are straightforward almost to the point of absurdity. ONESTREET (46A: Della or Picabo?) is interesting only when one realizes that the original was "one-way street," and even then it's just kind of "well, ok, I see what you did there."

NOT 22-Across

My favorite clue today is 24A: Diamond club (BAT). So unexpected. And right beside it was another nice one - 28A: Dateless, say (ALONE). Whenever I hear "dateless" I am reminded of Sonnet 30, and "precious friends hid in death's dateless night." So that's good, right?

The eight-stacks in the SW and NE are nice, but they force rather a lot of TOV, ANO, DEN, ENE, and ERE. With those concessions we get STOCKADE, ANTERIOR, and PEASANTS, though, so maybe it's worth it?

On the whole I am not convinced. REVOTE, the oddly spelled (to me) TOOTSY, the redundant and unnatural CEMENTMASON... and then there's that "22A: Flowerless plants" clue.  See above.

- Horace


  1. 13:41
    I thought the clue of Della Street and Picabo Street, each "one Street," was kind of funny, in absurd kind of way. In fact, I thought it was the best of the theme clues, all of which were fine, to me.

    But, yeah, other than that in was kind of bland. I did like seeing the Hartford Whalers reference. I had the H there, but certainly wouldn't have needed it.

  2. 8:52
    Meh. That's what I say about this one. Meh. And why? Because it's Thursday. And I want Thursday to be something more than this, something that launches the turn with verve, elan, zest, and gusto.

    Weirdly the first word I put in was LONDONER, confirmed by ERE. It reflects the difficulty of the NW. And the very difficult central N section. I guessed on the B at BRETT / BOBBER and was right, but was prepared to take my first FWOE of the pencil and paper era.

  3. 13:50
    I used to go see the Whalers with my father back a little while ago, but not surprisingly, I didn't know the answer off of the clue. Funny that Horace and Icarus had similar times to my own, although I had the SLOWEST. I never heard of TRYOUTCAMPS or the Premium Cuban cigar, the COHIBA. Also, I enjoyed the clue for the oft-seen OBOES (66A Orchestra tuners). I thought it a decent effort, all-in-all.