Friday, May 10, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019, Andrew J. Ries


Pretty much an all around outstanding themeless puzzle today, in my humble opinion. I broke in with 3D: One might sense bitterness (TASTEBUD), and knew we were in for a fun time.

It was a playground for our favorite kind of clue, the non-question mark tricky kind. Just a few to note here: 5A: Trip ... or start a trip (SETOFF) - nice because I was definitely not thinking of that first definition of triggering as an alarm. 15A: Toy in a purse, perhaps (POODLE) - really outstanding. My mind was way far away from that as an answer. And how about 12D: Frequent losers at casinos (DEUCES)? Hah! I love it.

I almost forgot one of the best! 26D: They always proceed in a biased way (BISHOPS) - referring to the chess pieces, I assume. I hope. Or maybe it's a veiled commentary? I won't walk down that garden path.

The QMCs were less enjoyable, or maybe my opinion is colored by the unpleasantness at 26A. 46A: Diamond in the rough? (SANDLOT) is pretty good.

The long intersecting answers in the middle are all pretty good. I like SENIORPRANK and DEPECHEMODE, and any reference to LENAHORNE is a winner in my book.

Finally, two other references make this puzzle my favorite of the week so far. The first is to that classic of slapstick humor, Airplane! (TED). And of course, the greatest classical composer of all time gets a nod with 42D: B in music class? (BRAHMS). The other two Bs, Bach and Beethoven, are pretty good too. I guess.

- Colum


  1. 12:13

    BRAHMS?!?! OK, ok, I should probably stand down, since you're the music major and I'm not... but if what you say is true, I have been missing out on a lot of very good music, apparently.

    BISHOPS got my favorite clue and I'm adding it to the list. Also, I am both proud and ashamed that I dropped in DEPECHEMODE like a hot new record.

    1. Horace, I will remind you how much you enjoyed hearing one of his string quintets in concert some years back.

    2. Oh, I remember that well. It's just that those other two B's have done some very, very nice things too.

  2. 15:03
    Well, technically, Beethoven is the only classical composer listed above, and clearly the best, but Brahms was certainly the best romantic composer. May I just say, let's leave BEDSORES out of puzzles from now on, and BIEBER, for that matter. (And don't get bent out-of-shape; I know that "classical" was used by Colum as a general term for "art music." Relax.) DEPECHEMODE was a surprise, but a nice one. And I've never done, and probably won't, at this point, a SENIORPRANK.

    1. Well, I'd technically classify Beethoven as an early Romantic, even though he started in late Classical style, but maybe we're getting a little recherché at this point.

    2. I'm familiar with the argument for putting Beethoven into the Romantic era, and I agree that he pointed the way, but I come down on the Classical side just based on his strict (for the most part) constructions. He certainly pushed the envelope, though, in many surprising ways. He's my favorite of the Bs.