Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018, Jules P. Markey


DOWNFEATHERS (11D: Warm winter coat contents ... or what is present in the answer to each starred clue?) is the revealer today, and it tells us that four feathered friends are to be found amid the very long down answers. WAYNEGRETZKY (25D: *Sports legend who was an M.V.P. for eight consecutive seasons) hides an egret, TELLMEANOTHERONE (7D: *"A likely story!") holds a heron, and so on. Quite nice, in my opinion.


We get some nice Classical references with STOA (6A: Site of Zeno's teaching) ("Athens" wouldn't fit!) and ERATO (28A: Lyrist of myth) (Good thing they didn't try to put "lyrist" in as an answer!). And lots of paired clues in "Solidify" (CLOT & SET), "One side of a debate" (CON & PRO), and "Sense" (INTUIT & FEEL). See also "Boatloads" (ABUNCH) and "Boatload" (TON).

It's funny to see RIPON (63A: Bad-mouth) in the grid with that clue, because as one word it is a college in Wisconsin that two of my cousins went to. I went to another Wisconsin school (and consequently knew OHARE (58D: Its symbol is ORD) off the clue), but I never had thought of RIPON as two words before.

Colum and I were just talking about the many ways to clue ATE (32A: Made a fast stop?), and I thought this was a particularly good one. And the excellent entry APOSTROPHE gets a classic self-referential clue "66A: Maker's mark?" Hah!

I have never liked the term DORAG, and LASE always seems a little crosswordy, but we were generally spared the LAMEST kind of crosswordese today. Plus, I like birds. Thumbs up!

- Horace


  1. 12:46
    You like birds? I know a couple that someone would probably leave to you in her will. Doesn't DORAG remind you of ET59? How could you be against that? I kept wanting lox where NOVA belongs, and American Pastime where AGAMEOFINCHES goes. I guess I've heard the latter somewhere before, but I needed most of the crosses to get it. I agree that the theme and most of the fill were excellent today.

  2. The theme was one of those which I didn't get while solving, and even afterwards, it took a while ("is the letter W feather shaped? Not sure how, and besides not all the themers have a W" and that sort of thing). Circled squares would of course have been one option, but I realize that is controversial with some people.

    I especially liked LEDGER and yes I too got OHARE off the clue.

    Still debating with myself whether I'll make it to the ACPT. It was so much easier when I lived in DC instead of California.

  3. 7:25
    I always enjoy a downgoing theme, especially when the direction is used in the revealer. It's also nice that the DOWNFEATHERS hidden in each answer was never the bird from which down feathers are obtained. APOSTROPHE is very good, and I'd add it to our list of best clues. Perhaps I'll just go ahead and do that right now.