Friday, July 6, 2018

Friday, July 6, 2018, Robyn Weintraub


Lovely start today with CLEOPATRA (1A: Ruler who died in 30 B.C.) (no B.C.E., NYT?). If only she, Caesar, Pompey, and Ptolemy could have arranged to somehow MEETINTHEMIDDLE, maybe there wouldn't have been so many deaths. JUSTKIDDING, they loved to wear ARMOR and kill each other back then. Ever since the time of HERA, "murderer" has been one of the main VOCATIONS. Just like it is today - except it's TRENDIER to say "soldier." ...


Boy, that went south fast. Let's all just take a drink from the LETHE and fall back ASLEEP. No need to TIRE oneself out being a Nervous NELLY all the time about the CHASMS in REASONING between humans. Here I was, trying to say something nice about the puzzle, and all of a sudden I'm pontificating. Kind of KILLS the mood. What I need is more SWEETTALK.

Favorite clue today - 51D: Decrease? (IRON). Yes. More like this.

I also very much enjoyed UMPTEENTH (61A: Sizable ordinal), which reminds me of my mother, who was wont to use that word. (And who would be disappointed with my vitriol above.) SCATTERSHOT (22D: Lacking focus) is quality, and SIDLE and CREPT made a nice pair.

Overall, I did enjoy this one - and the appropriateness of the two 15-letter clues - but it went a bit fast for a Friday.

- Horace

p.s. I almost forgot! I was going to complain about NOB (42A: One of the jacks in cribbage). It's not just one of the jacks, it's any jack that matches the card turned up in the cut, and it's always "His Nobs," or "Nobs," not just a NOB. Sheesh!


  1. Hahaha. Nice start to the day with the fun (and easy) Friday puzzle and your comments.

  2. I may be dense. I finished the whole puz., but how does decrease mean iron??

    1. Decrease as in "take the creases out of" a shirt, for example, with an iron.

    2. I think maybe it would normally have a hyphen, but the question mark allows them to leave it out.

  3. 10:37
    Thought it would go even faster when I dropped CLEOPATRA in off the clue. I love love love RACETOTHEBOTTOM going down the center, crossing MEETINTHEMIDDLE going across the whole puzzle. That's fine work. This is an outstanding Friday puzzle.

    1. Oh, and completely agree about NOB. That's a no go.

  4. 33:14
    I guess I'm the slow one today. CLEOPATRA went right in for me, too, but RACETOTHEBOTTOM took many crosses (TOO many), and LETHE isn't known to me as I never had a proper classical education, and am playing catch-up as a result all during my middle and later years (of my life so far). PASTY is a word that I've used often to describe people. The clue for EIEIO (27D Letters sung as mi, mi, re, re, do) is pretty good.