Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018, Will Nediger


Hello, Dear Reader, it is I, Horace. I'd like to thank Frannie for another set of fine reviews, and thank Colum, too, for gamely swapping weeks with Frannie during the last leg of our European travel. Boy, that was some trip, but living out of a suitcase gets kind of old after three weeks. Some might conclude "travel schmravel," but that'd be going a bit too far. Anyway, since things are all jumbled up, I'm taking over a day early today and doing the entire review.


I've long been a big fan of the form of mildly derisive put down used seven times as today's theme. I will say, though, that once I cottoned on, it was easier than it sometimes is on a Sunday to fill in the theme answers with only a few crosses. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I'll leave that to you to decide. What am I, a critic?

Tricky clues that I enjoyed:

33A: Return to base (TAGUP) (Sport, not military.)
59A: Lose one's coat (MOLT) (I'm going to use this line at parties when I can't find my coat.)
89A: It has lots on the internet (EBAY) (Auction lots! Nice one.)
9D: Cavity filler (GROUT) (Tiles, not teeth.)

I was surprised by the word SNIGLET (114A: Term for a word that isn't in the dictionary, but maybe should be), and found that it was coined by a person named Rich Hall in the 1980s. That should be right in my wheelhouse, but maybe its having started on HBO kept it out of my purview.

I thought it was interesting/odd that the words "on" and "out" appeared next to each other, and that neither really needed to be included in its answer. "10D: Be a witness" could have been just "look," instead of LOOKON, and "11D: Exude" could have been "ooze" rather than OOZEOUT. Still, there's nothing wrong with the additional prepositions, except that maybe it will rankle frequent commenter Huygens, because prepositions are something he prefers not to end sentences with. Wait, though... now that i think about it, they're really adverbs here, so away that may all be dispensed with. :)

And speaking of adjacent clues, the SCREW/SCROD pairing was amusing. The first being clued as a verb, and the latter as "Fish whose name sounds like the past tense of 46-Across?" Hah.

I was expecting to see at least one CASTRATO in the choir at yesterday's royal wedding, but they seem to be favoring young boys now instead. Pity.

Lots of good material in here, and kind of an irreverent attitude (see "111D: With 112-Down, coupled). I give it a thumbs up!

- Horace


  1. Doesn't everyone go for the mildly derisive put down? My favorite was (67A Hardly a dolt?) NOSCHMOO. Although, we could just about hear Frannie's glee from here when I typed in HALTSSCHMALTZ, which incidentally, you didn't mention, brilliantly and even more irreverently crosses with (see "111D: With 112-Down, coupled) HAD SEX! Mercifully, CASTRATO is elsewhere in the grid and does not cross there! While I'm on singing voices, I'm sure Colum will agree to a preference for BASSi over BASSOS; or indeed, BASSeS over BASSOS, for that matter.

    Having helped schlep Harry's drums around to gigs for a couple of years now, including one last night, I was not fooled for a second by the attempted misdirection (94A Part of a kit) and entered SNARE without so much as a wink.

  2. A fairly easy Sunday puzzle. I had some difficulty in the smack dab middle, not realizing that NOSCHMO was a theme answer. I'd put in WAVESto. I like WAVESHI much better. And RESCIND is a very nice word.

    I toyed with whether DUCKSCHMUCK was going to start with an F, especially after entering HAD / SEX! Also, HEF crosses HEINIE, which is a good description of what he vended, and who he was. There, I said it.

    I liked the combination of LEE and KATRINA connected by "When the Levees Broke". 75A: Buds come in them (SIXPACKS) is my nominee for favorite clue-answer BASEPAIR of the day.