Saturday, July 28, 2018

Saturday, July 28, 2018, Natan Last, the J.A.S.A. Crossword Class and Andy Kravis


A fun puzzle today, centered on three very strong, stair-stepping answers: FASHIONPOLICE (32A: Ones who may dress down those dressing up?) (Great clue.); JUICECLEANSES (36A: Some detox diets); and GENDERSTUDIES (37A: Modern college major). Excellent. And off of the beginning and end of those we have JEOPARDY (36D: Show that once had an April Fool's Day episode hosted by Pat Sajak) (Boy, I wish I had seen that! In fact, I'd prefer to have him host the show every day. I might even start watching it again!), FUNSPONGE (32D: One who sucks the joy out of the room) (I've never heard this before, but I sure know a few...), ACADEMIES (11D: Places of learning) (fine), and DCCOMICS (12D: Distributor of Penguin classics?) (very nice). That's a pretty solid skeleton.


The corners are wide open, and they tend a little toward "ballast fill" at times, with ECCE, ODON, ETTU, and NAOH, but none of that bothers me too much. The biggest stretch for me was RHEE (53A: Onetime Korean statesman Syngman), but perhaps others will have heard of and remember the name.

I liked the cluing today quite a bit. How about 18D: "Nigerian prince," often (PHISHER). Hah! And 9D: She convinced George to switch to five-pointed stars, in American legend (BETSY) gives a nice little bit of trivia. See also: 46D: River crossed in 1945's Operation Plunder (RHINE). My last letter was the I of HINES (21A: Cheryl of "Curb Your Enthusiasm"). I didn't know the name (never watched the show), and WWIIEPICS took quite a while to come clear to me. I'm just glad it finally did!

These J.A.S.A. puzzles are frequently quite good. I wish I could make it to one of those classes sometime! For now, though, I'll settle for enjoying the product of others' work.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. 26:05
    Really solid Saturday. I know Ms. HINES from the excellent show mentioned, but yeah, WWIIEPICS took quite a while to see. I'll add my name to Horace's on never having heard of RHEE. YEESH. Tried argON where XENON goes at first, but fixed it relatively quickly. I agree, too, about JEOPARDY and the sideways dig above at the rather smarmy Trebek. FUNSPONGE is awesome, and I vow to start using it as often as is necessary.