Saturday, August 25, 2018

Saturday, August 25, 2018, Sam Ezersky


Frannie has to work today - like an animal! - so I'm giving her a break and filling in. She doesn't know this yet, but I don't think she'll mind too much. If she does, she can always delete this review and post her own.

I thought this was a very good Saturday puzzle. Nicely challenging, where for the first fifteen minutes or so I doubted almost everything I put in. Well, everything except little glue like EAU (7D: Theme of Cirque du Soleil's "O," appropriately) (We just saw "Luzia" by them recently and loved it!), ELIA (36A: Lamb, by another name) (it just had to be), and IMS (49A: Some chats, briefly). And maybe a few others. Things like NEODADAIST (3D: Yoko Ono, artistically, in the 1960s), YOUANDI (42D: We) (Tough one!), and INFIELD (10D: First, second and third place) (also tough), took much, much longer.

I enjoyed the challenge, though, as I always do on a Saturday, and this is chock-full of good, unusual fill. I liked LOINCLOTH (11D: Primitive attire), YAKETYYAK (33D: Talk, talk, talk) ("Don't talk back!"), PLAYSGOD (32A: Acts all-powerful), GOONSQUAD (17A: Tough crowd?), and even WALLMAP (28A: Common classroom adornment), although I tried to make roLLMAP work for quite a while. I used to love those roll-down maps! And that SE stack is really fine - RADIOWAVE on top of ICALLEDIT and OHHELLYES. OHELLYES.

Of course, there were a few Saturday-ish answers too, like NEDLOW (9D: Renowned pirate captain during the Golden Age of Piracy) (There was such an age?), TONNE (4D: Equivalent of a megagram) (yeah, ok, whatever), and FDRJR (51A: First chairman of the E.E.O.C., familiarly) (who knew?), but those kinds of things just come with the territory. Luckily, I was able to work around them with the crosses. It isn't always that way.

There's so much good stuff as I look around, I could go on calling it out forever, but I'll leave some for you to discover. So get your TUSH in gear and go solve this thing!

- Horace

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