Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thursday, May 23, 2019, Alex Vratsanos


I know a little about Woodrow Wilson - that he was the only president to hold a PhD, that he was pro-women's suffrage, and that he tried hard to bring together a League of Nations. I guess the FOURTEEN POINTS thing rings a faint bell, but it's not something that really stuck with me, for whatever reason.


That said, I caught on to the theme fairly quickly, with PRESSURE point and TIPPING point, but I was a little confused for a while about PLOT (*The outcome of a story might hinge on one) because I thought it should be PLOT twist. I guess PLOT point is ok, but it's not as common.

But DEARGOD there's a lot of theme material, isn't there? It seems like almost half the puzzle is thematic! Well, there are fourteen words that precede "point," and then there are the two revealer answers. That's a lot! And yet they still find a way to cram in even more interesting answers. I thought "Get some air" was a good clue for INHALE, and "Subtract a year or two from one's age, say" was cute for FIB. As for "Good 'Wheel of Fortune' buy for CHEESE WHEEL" (ANE), sure, the clue is cute, but why does anyone ever buy a vowel? You're just giving away money! In other IRE-producing clues, I suppose professionals might use a SPADE as an aid to building a sand castle, but for most casual beachgoers, that would be a WEE BIT of overkill. And finally, why are we always picking on NERDS (Unlikely homecoming court members)? UGG!

CLU (Gulager of old TV and film) and OGRADY (Sweet Rosie of old song) were complete unknowns. SWAGS (Certain curtains) is pretty far out of my sphere.

In all, this puzzle theme seems like a good IDEA, but it might be a bit too much of an ETUDE for my tastes.

- Horace


  1. I was solving away, noticing there were w bunch of themers and they didn't seem to be in any obvious parts of the grid. Got the theme not super late but it took not only PLOT[POINT] (which I too wanted to be PLOT[twist]) but a few others before it fit into place. Only a while after that I got the rest of the revealer and then it was like Oh my gosh no wonder it seemed like a lot, there are 14 of the darn things!

    Approve of the ambition and the themers didn't strike me as particularly forced. The fill probably did suffer, though, I didn't know SWAGS and CLU and CHEATDAY and a few others.

    Finished with two errors (TeT in place of TNT, somehow thinking of "carbon tet[rachloride]" not that it really makes sense here; a typo on U?TERI which I must have just fat fingered).

  2. 33:48
    Nothing was too difficult for me with this one, but you'd never know it from my time! It was slow-going, but steady. It's so long ago now, that I don't recall any of my thought processes, but regardless, now that I look it over, I vaguely remember thinking of a Seinfeld episode with DEARGOD, and that OXEYE is becoming easier for me to get through repetition.