Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thursday, February 1, 2018, Damon Gulczynski


I am not SCHMO blown away by this theme. It is certainly clever, but I was able to enter ROGEREBERT without fully understanding why by looking at the clue. The revealer, INITIALLY was not an aha moment (or even an Omaha moment) for me, more of an "ohhhhh. Oh, well" moment.

The best part is the way the first word of each clue re-reads on getting the trick. "Regent" turning into "R.E. gent." "Malady" turning into "M.A. lady," and so on. But all four names are old crossword standbys (and very old in some cases).

Anyway, it was a PAIN to get started, even though EMMA was a lovely reference (14A: Literary matchmaker - how nice it's not Yente from Fiddler on the Roof). I also was stuck by DOHA, even though I've seen it plenty of times. I tried to convince myself that it was an alternate spelling of Sanaa (Yemen, not Qatar). I really got going in the SW corner, moving down from OTS and CPAS, and then ECHELONS.

Clues I liked:

8D: Digital communication, for short? (ASL)
49A: Get blubbery (CRY)

I'm not sure what to make of the recent pair of clues like 48D: Beat it! (BONGO). Yesterday it was "Hit it!" (PINATA). What do people think? IMALLEARS!

Overall, I'm left flat. This felt like a Wednesday. Not enough of a fun trick for a Thursday. Let's hope the rest of the turn picks up the pace!

- Colum


  1. 14:12
    I don't like the Beat it!/BONGO type of a clue and answer. At all. I hope that enough complaints pour in to the NYT to stop it quickly. I agree that this wasn't a trick-y enough Thursday. Like Colum, I wrote in ROGEREBERT quickly, but unlike Colum, confidently entered DOHA off of the clue since I've been there. It took me quite a few crosses for PRETAX, which should have been faster. Since I'm Huygens, I prefer a Saturn-themed clue any time I see TITAN (which is where, incidentally, the probe bearing the Huygens name is currently...and forever). I do like that MARIEANTOINETTE spans the grid.

  2. 12:08
    I'm not a big fan of the "Hit it!," "Beat it!," type clues at all, but I'll be keeping them in mind at the ACPT, since the editors seem to be loving them lately.

    Also, I didn't really even notice the way the clues broke down. That makes it a little nicer. Still, though, hardly Thursday-worthy.

  3. Pretty dreadful Thursday. But Huygens, weren't you offended that the Fibonacci Sequence was mis-identified as a SERIES?

    1. Well, that's a nice catch. It didn't strike me as I read through the clue, but of course it's usually referred to as a sequence, though I've seen the word series used here and there.