Saturday, September 14, 2019

Saturday, September 14, 2019, Peter A. Collins


Mr. Collins offers a themeless today with a skeleton of five intersecting 15-letter answers. When you set yourself such a challenge, it's important to hit on as many of these opportunities as possible. So, in classic Colum fashion, let's grade these one by one, from least successful to most successful. As always, these grades are completely objective and based on the most unbiased criteria, namely how much I liked them.

In fifth place... 1D: Hypes (SENSATIONALIZES). We're already off to a good start if this is the worst of the five. I give it a B for being a 15-letter single word and having a Z in it.

Next... 6D: "More info will be coming" (DETAILSTOFOLLOW). A good semi-colloquialism, and points for feeling like something people would actually say or write. Still, also a B.

15A: One of 23 for Matt Stairs (an M.L.B. record) (PINCHHITHOMERUN). Very nice. A good piece of trivia, a solid term, and baseball to boot. A B+ here.

10D: Sharing of a moral viewpoint to gain social approval (VIRTUESIGNALING). I like an opportunity to learn a new term, and this one feels particularly apt for our times. The best example of this as an empty action is the offering of "thoughts and prayers" rather than meaningful action in the face of gun violence. This gets an A-.

And the top is (...drum roll...) 53A: They help drivers get rid of their slices (PIZZADELIVERIES). Hah! That's just beautiful. A non-QMC, brilliant misdirection. An absolute A here.

For the rest of the puzzle, it's reasonably smooth. Good clues include 15D: "Ecce homo" speaker (PILATE); 25A: Cambodian bread (RIEL) - I didn't fall for this one; and 41D: Marriageable, quaintly (NUBILE). I'm not sure I entirely approve of 13D: What an anemic person might lack (MINERAL) - are we referring simply to iron-deficiency here? I guess so, but that's a very odd way to say it.

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. DNF in 64:03
    The NE did me in. Most of the rest was fine. I had the majority finished in around 1/2-hour. MINERAL is bad; odd clue, strange answer. No one ever says that an anemic person is lacking MINERAL.