Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thursday, March 22, 2018, Ross Trudeau

0:13:31 (paper)

That rare bird, the trickless, gimmickless Thursday puzzle. Just a regular old themed puzzle today, and that theme is social media. I can't decide whether it's fortunate or unfortunate that this comes out a day or two after the big Cambridge Analytics story... I guess I'd go with unfortunate. But we can't blame the NYTX, so let's just skirt that whole issue.


17A: One with a lot of likes? (VALLEYGIRL) is funny to me, but it's feeling a little dated these days. What was that, the 1980s when VALLEYGIRL talk was such a big thing? ROCKINROBIN (23A: One with a lot of tweets?) is even older, and then we fall into answers that are just two words put together - FENCEMENDER and MOTHERDUCK. Hmm... I guess I don't love this theme all that much. (I did like MAJORITYOWNER, though.)

In the fill I can find a few things to like, like a nice FILLET of salmon, my favorite crosswordese EEL (9D: ____ sauce (sushi condiment)) (never heard of it, and I've eaten a lot of sushi!), and the strangeness of the clue for THE (59D: Not just a). I also loved the trickery of 6D: Hard to hit pitches (HIGHCS). That's some nice clueing. I liked seeing both AMES and AMI in the grid, and AREAMAN made me think of the Onion, and that's always a good thing.

I am not familiar with EDM (40A: Techno is a subgenre of it, for short), JOFFREY (39D: Boy king on "Game of Thrones"), or JAMA (39A: Weekly reading for drs.), so I was a little nervous about having an error somewhere. Luckily, after transcribing the answers into the online puzzle, I got the congratulations screen. Phew!

Kind of a let-down start to The Turn, but I have high hopes for tomorrow and Saturday. They'll want to bring out some of their best stuff while the ACPT is going on, won't they? Won't they!?!

If you're going to the tournament, I'll look forward to seeing you there. I'll be the one wearing the "Thomas Lingner" badge. :)

- Horace


  1. 17:50
    Now everyone will know your real identity, or will they? VALLEYGIRL was definitely my favorite of the theme answers, and I don't mind the dated-ness of ROCKINROBIN at all. I know of JAMA and EDM, but, like Horace, not JOFFREY. However, the latter's crosses were all fine, and thank goodness for the crosswordese ODE, otherwise I'd have guessed an "e" there at the JOFFREY cross. I agree that MOTHERDUCK and FENCEMENTER felt a little ADHOC, but all-in-all this was fine, if not slightly on the disappointing side for a Thursday. MAKELOVE is a bit risque, and BEER is very ordinary, if IMAY. Good clue for MOOLA (21A Cheddar). I always like thinking of PAM from "The Office," as well as her cross, NIMOY. I guess I'll take it.

  2. 9:50
    Not tricky enough for a Thursday in my book. It's a fun idea for a theme. I really liked VALLEYGIRL, definitely the best. Slowed myself a good deal by guessing kiaS for GMCS, which made finding MAGOO a lot harder. Also I had the questionable choice of basKINROBIN for a hard second there. Amusing and very far off from being correct in any possible way.

  3. I was dimly aware of JOFFREY (as in, needed most of the crosses but wasn't going to fall for JeFFREY) and very familiar with JAMA (not that far behind Nature and Science as media savvy scientific journals). EDM was a bit tougher but I had heard of Electronic Dance Music (although I wasn't necessarily quick to its acronym). There are so many names for music of roughly that sort, and they are just the kind of thing constructors put in crosswords.

    Good luck to everyone going to the tournament.

  4. Thanks, both of you! The entire HF&C team will be there this year!

    ET59, I hope you solve online again this year, and Jim, I'm sorry we won't be able to meet you this year, but hopefully next year it will work out.