Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday, October 28, 2018, Erik Agard


Hey, it's Sunday! And I haven't written a crossword blog post in like forever! So it must be my turn! Yay!

I actually solved today's puzzle fittingly while waiting for my daughter's tennis lesson to be complete. The revealer at 119A is MIXEDDOUBLES, referring to the fact that the answers, which are well known phrases of the form "A and B," are anagrams of the clues (if you drop the "and"). Thus, 23A: Sou'wester is an anagram of SWEETANDSOUR. It's very cleverly done.

You could certainly argue that clue phrases like 62A: "After Earth" (TARANDFEATHER) or 111A: Prostates (STOPANDSTARE) are hardly scintillating (or even in any way appealing) references. For the record, the first was a sci-fi film that nobody saw ever. But that didn't bother me much during the solve. The best of the bunch, in my opinion, is 97A: Trade punches (STANDUPANDCHEER). That's fine stuff.

I felt sure that I was going to be on the right wavelength when I hit 1A: Chunks of land (TRACTS). I was immediately put in mind of a classic Monty Python scene, and that's always for the best. But to be honest, after that, there wasn't much I loved in the fill. EEROSAARINEN's full name was very nice to see, but let's be honest. He's been dead almost 60 years. Then you get things like CUESTAS, DONTPLAY (which feels completely ad hoc), and APOLUNE. Oof.

On the plus side, COGNAC. Also 67D: Good throw? (AFGHAN).

An answer I'm unconvinced by: STARSPOT. I believe it as a general term for what we're used to around these parts of the galaxy, namely sunspots. But still.

Anyway, these are probably the tradeoffs we get for seven theme answers and a revealer. See you tomorrow!

- Colum


  1. Another answer I'd throw to the dogs is SHIBAINUS. That being said, there was a bunch of stuff I liked including BOLT, TILT, SPEW, TRESTLE, and JPOP. Clue-wise I liked IMMUNE for "Not being able to catch something,"Hem but not haw?" (SEW), and my pick of the litter "Shed material" (FUR). Ha!

  2. SEW was nicely clued, that might be my favorite.

    Didn't get the theme (I was trying to anagram each half separately, and wasn't sure what to anagram it to anyway, didn't think of the clue itself).

    And although I see the point about EEROSAARINEN perhaps being dated, the clue makes it seem not so bad, in that design of the train station at Dulles was debated specifically in terms of whether Saarinen's terminal would still be visible.