Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday, June 13, 2019, Michael Blake and Jeff Chen


I ended with a typfwoe today. I fully intended to enter OOHANDAAH (React to pyrotechnics, say), but I inadvertently entered two H's at the end instead of two A's. When I didn't get the crescendo of congratulations to which I have latterly become accustomed, it took me quite a while to ID the problem. I blame my lack of familiarity with Tokyo's big carrier ANA.

In today's puzzle, each starred clue requires the presence of a literal UPPERHAND for the answer to make sense. So the answer to "Sets the odds for" appears as ICAPS, but when you give it the advantage of a HAND from the CHANDELIER above, you get [HAND]ICAPS. My favorite was HANDYNASTY because it's amusing when mis-parsed. I didn't actually bother to figure out the theme until I got stuck in the south east. Having absolutely no idea what letters might appear after Chuck Schumer or Kirsten Gillibrand's names, I was forced to reckon with the theme to get 64A: "Submitted." Even when I figured it out and entered [HAND]EDIN, it took me forever to parse DNYDOH!


I liked both "Gives the boot" and its answer CANS. I also liked "Partner of older" (WISER) and "Singers do it" (SEW). "Big shots at a hospital, informally? (HYPOS) entertained. My favorite on the day was "Snake that's good with numbers? (ADDER) - ha! 

I enjoyed "Concern for shipping and software companies" (PIRACY) and "Concern for a plumber or government official (LEAK). And, although the same but different, I enjoyed "Ending with kick or smart" (ASS).

NIHILIST and EYESHADE are fine fill.

Something bothered me about the clue "Close to a 10, say" for SEXY, and if asked, I might say OENO to "Art house theater" (CINE), but overall, I've got to hand it to Mssrs. Blake and Chen.



  1. 13:52
    Well - what a lovely puzzle...of course, puzzling at first, until I got down to the revealer...oh! aha!
    I liked "AMICUS" - not often seen, "NIHILIST" - another rarity, and "BADPR" - which initially looked like an impossible letter combo!
    I had no idea about "ANA" - just that "JAL" didn't fit!
    Thanks for the reveiw and the beautiful handiwork sample.
    Oh, and, I solved using the fingering ipad app...came in 7+ minutes faster than normal - but, the big secret was that the netflix was off! So, maybe I haven't lost anything due to aging! ha!

  2. 10:46 (paper) (FWOE)

    I guessed dEAN for the first president of Facebook, and it wasn't until I was forced to reconsider UdA as the "Women's World Cup powerhouse" that I found my mistake. DOH!

    Fun puzzle. Somehow, even though I knew that "hand" was missing from answers very early on, I had to get to the revealer before I actually saw the HANDs in the rows above. Nice work.

  3. 15:03
    CANS at 1A could go along with its analog at 67A SEXY, no? And I certainly won't mention BANGED or SALAMI. Too much? Maybe. I figured out that something was up with IWORK (noticing the "HAND" above), which came in from the crosses, and this whole puzzle just fell into place pretty easily. I agree with Frannie on the humorousness of HANDYNASTY when parsed differently than intended. Since it's Friday, I think I'll have some OENO-substances in the hot tub.

  4. 6:28
    Echo above. Excellent theme, well done.