Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday, July 29, 2018, Will Nediger


I love this kooky, three-in-one theme! The puzzle played a little harder than a usual Sunday for me, and I was just going along, ignoring all the theme clues and trying to fill in some squares. Eventually, things started going well and I got, almost by accident, MANHATTAN. Then I re-read the clue for that one - 86A: Result of wearing a fedora at the beach - and WOOSH!, I gave out an audible groan. An appreciative groan, mind you, but wow.

(un-) 27-Across

So Mr. Nediger has found normal words that can be broken into three parts. Not exactly three words, but three sections of meaning, as in what may be my favorite - PROPAGANDA (40A: Prosecutor who's sympathetic to the defendants in a witch trial). How can you not chuckle at that? Anyway, I love it. Some are just too absurd, like REINFORCEMENT (58A: Bridle strap utilized only on sidewalk surfaces), but for the most part, they at least got a chuckle. EXTERNALLY ... heh...

There seemed to be quite a few 7-plus-letter words in the Downs, and I credit them with providing at least some of the extra difficulty. Things that were not, for me, immediately gettable, like WILDROSE (11D: Iowa's state flower), GALUMPH (12D: Move clumsily), TABLEDHOTE (64D: Meal with a set menu), NEARBEER (28D: Serving during Prohibition), and LEGATION (31D: Diplomatic office below an embassy). Definitely needed a couple crosses for those.

Overall, though, I enjoyed the fill, and the design of the puzzle was unusual, with those three strong diagonals in the center. And I liked the clueing - 66A: Potential dinner (PREY), 5A: Antismoking spots, e.g. (PSAS), 91A: Item smashed by the original Luddites (LOOM) (Awesome. We humans are so crazy.), 55D: Stable parents (SIRES), 59D: "The Great" and "The Terrible" (EPITHETS)... all good. For me, one of the only WARTs was that it started with WART. Yuck.

So I'll be off soon to Boswords, and if you're one of the 150 or so puzzlers, maybe I'll see you there. And if I don't see you, Good Luck solving!

- Horace


  1. 34:05
    Slightly harder than a usual Sunday, as Horace mentions. YOINK is not something I'd say, and TABLEDHOTE is not known to me. The rest went along rather slowly, but steadily, with no trip-ups. I'd never heard of SCYLLA, Jonathan DEMME or Carol Ann DUFFY (so the "D" was a guess for the latter pair). The theme was great - really enjoyable - and excellent fill kept CROPPINGUP, like SEXYTIME, ROMATOMATO, FANDANGO, TRAVESTY and, for theme fill, POMEGRANATE (awesome!). ONASADNOTE was iffy stuff like FDA, ATON, DINO and CEL. However, ASS, TOW (102D Request to Triple A) and TRADES were all quite good.

  2. POMEGRANATE -- great word, great clue, not such a good entry, though, in my opinion. Why? Because no matter how you slice it, POMEGRANATE *is* in itself in the apple family. Otherwise? A very nice puzzle.

    1. Interesting, I thought the complaint was going to be about the obscurity of the word "pome". Maybe that one is established in crossword (as well as botanical) lore, though. For what it is worth, my sources put pomegranate in the Lythraceae (loosestrife family).