Saturday, June 9, 2018

Sunday, June 10, 2018, Ruth Bloomfield Margolin


Boy, what a great way to start my week of reviews! I’m up here in Maine, working on the family cottage, and I thought I’d better get the puzzle done early, because I often think Sunday puzzles are a slog and I didn’t want to end up doing it tomorrow when I’m completely exhausted. (Instead, I’m doing it a night early, when I’m completely exhausted.)
So anyway, around the time I figured out 115A: Where Scarlett got a letter? (TARA), I LOLed and thought things were looking up. 12D: Canine coat? (ENAMEL) took me quite a while, but what a surprising and excellent payoff! Other clues that amused me were as follows and I quote:
39: Rise above the din, say (YELL)
57A: Simple life? (AMOEBA)
68D: No-nonsense quartet? (ENS) – Again! They got me with this nonsense! :)
102D: Sends a breakup text, say (tsk!) (ENDSIT) – Nice misdirection with that tsk!
20A: Nap for a loafer? (SUEDE) – Excellent.
29A: Night vision? (DREAM)
48A: Not taking a bow? (ASTERN). OMG this is good.
112D: House work? (LAWS) – OK, lots of question marks, but hey, it’s Sunday, and they’re still good!
And that’s not all of the good clues. This whole thing was chock full of them. 122A: Washington, but not Jefferson (STATE), 121A: Last thing said before eating? (AMEN), 124A: Matter of interest? (RATE)… I’ve heard that the editor and his friend change a lot of clues, but some of the credit must go to Ms. Margolin. And I haven’t even touched on the theme, which is also highly amusing.
I honestly cannot pick a favorite among them.  CRAMPINGMYSTILE (36A: Pressing and shoving me as I enter the subway?) is, of course, right up there, and BUSSEDYOURBUTT (82A: Took public transportation while one’s wheels were at the shop?) has to be considered, but I just love the comic despair in ROUTEOFALLEVIL (55A: Highway obstructed by accidents, detours and construction?). And what about INEEDTOLOSEWAIT (98A: “This tollbooth line will make me late!”?)? I’m going to start using that line when I’m on the road. Ha! Lastly, on the theme, I always enjoy when the theme runs both horizontally and vertically, so that’s another plus.
Also, I learned two words today:
OMERTA  - a code of silence used by the mafia.
SEINER – one who fishes with a “seine”  which, in this case, is a net.
I feel I must have seen both of those before, but if so, they haven't stuck. Maybe writing them down like this will help...
Thanks Colum, for another fabulous week of reviews. I’m sorry for butting in early today, but, well, I really liked this one. And boy, I hope you did too!

- Horace


  1. It's late, so I'll just comment. I didn't love this one as much as you, Horace. I didn't find the puns terribly amusing, although I definitely liked ROUTEOFALLEVIL best.

  2. 46:45
    I'm with Horace. Lots of high quality cluing and fill here. The slower-than-normal time is because I solved this on my device while away. As a half-Italian, OMERTA is well-known to me, and I think it's been in quite a few NYT crosswords, too. I did not, however, love SEINER ("seine" is common fill). I noted while solving about the theme answers going both horizontally and vertically, and was impressed, like Horace. CHARD is somewhat of a staple around here. Nice clue for QEII, and I enjoyed CHUTEFORTHESTARS, for obvious reasons, even though it refers to the wrong type of star.