Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tuesday, January 8, 2019, Freddie Cheng


What a clever theme - and for online solvers, when the cursor hits 61-Across, the theme answers light up in yellow and blue, which makes kind of a nice abstract art-like design on the grid. It's a bit of a pity that the answers can't show up with their given colors - gray, black, tan, red, and gold - but still, it's a fun idea.


Not a ton of long "bonus" material today. TESTCASE and TEARTAPE are a little dry, but the symmetrical pairing of SENATOR (4D: Long-term legislator) and ENACTED (46D: Passed, as laws) was pretty nice. I also appreciated the pairing of 45A: Cry made while taking a bow (TADA) and 68A: Mythological figure who takes a bow (EROS). They were trying to trick us!

Other entries of note include 54D: Digs made of twigs (NESTS), 35A: Fathers, as foals (SIRES), and  1A: Baker's dozen? (EGGS). Nice! And for 18D: Loony (KOOK), I was thinking adjective but they wanted noun. Gotta keep that mind flexible!

NENA and TREO feel a little old these days, but possibly only because I don't have much else to complain about in the fill. It's not very exciting, but the theme is good enough to carry the puzzle today.

- Horace


  1. 7:13
    TEARTAPE is my only real complaint (other than the tired threes). Since I solve with the Across Lite version, the grid didn't light up for me when I reached 61A, but I don't mind too much. TANLINE and PIER leave me looking forward to the summer, even though I don't mind any of the seasons any more, like I did when I was younger. Nice full ALROKER and REDSQUARE, but too bad with the other partial proper names (CLAIRE, ENO, YAO, KEATON, ONO, etc.), but a good puzzle nonetheless.

  2. I had a Did Not Finish on cEATOl crossing lENA. So all those proper names claimed me as a victim.

    I like the idea of lighting up the grid in gray, black, tan, red, and gold, but how are you going to light up 17A in blank? Actually, now that I re-read that answer, it just isn't any old blank thing, it is the canvas on which the others are painted. Cute. So I'll give good marks to the theme except that it should have had one or two fewer theme answers (to improve the fill).

    I will give high marks to "Mythological figure who takes a bow" and to the clue for SENATOR (which is a nice piece of redirection in that it isn't about whether someone has had a long career but about the 6 year term of a US Senator).

  3. 3:58
    I like that each theme answer is reinterpreted as a geometric object in a certain color on the BLANKCANVAS. Very nice.