Monday, December 16, 2019

Monday, December 16, 2019, Howard Barkin and Kevin Christian

7:34, FWOE

Today's puzzle isn't short on fill related to mistakes (Err/GOOF, "My bad!" OOPS), which is probably what inspired my mistake. I was trying for a fast time since it's my day to write the review, so when the answer to 61A: Bell-ringing makeup company" didn't spring instantly to mind (the noggin isn't as SPRY as it used to be!), I left it blank and moved on. When I got to 38D: Jon Bon Jovi or Simon Le Bon, for reasons I'll never understand, I entered ROCKSTeR, which is funny because I immediately hated on the answer and decided then and there to mention it in the review. Anyhoo, as our dear readers knows, the Bon Trapp family singers are ROCKSTARs and the Bell-ringing makeup company is AVON, not eVON. If only I had heard AVON calling sooner, I could have avoided the FWOE and maybe managed a sub-six. Sigh.

On a happier note, today's theme features ELVES of all kinds including those that appear in LORDOFTHERINGS, on the RICEKRISPIESBOX, and in SANTASWORKSHOP. Let's hope the latter are busy at work under the careful eye of their boss, PERE Noël.


I have been known to frequent a YOUTH hostel in my time, although these days when we ROVE, our travel accommodations tend to be in a higher TIER, usually with FREEWIFI. :)

I liked "Celestial explosion" for NOVA and "Otherworldly glow" for AURA. Also, nice triumvirate of personages starting at 40 Across: BAEZ, OTIS, and NEALE.

Overall, a very smooth puzzle today, without clunkers except those I created myself.


  1. I was hoping for a POOF, GOOF, OOF, COUTH, HOOF, ROOF, type pattern. But hey, I'll settle for two of them.

    Most of my slowdowns were fairly routine (like ENVISion), so I'll pass the prize to ROCKSTeR which is far more fun than any of mine.

  2. 5:30
    I remembered AVON (no doubt Frannie is a Mary Kay fan), but probably wouldn't have answered ROCKSTeR, regardless, so even if I thought that the across answer might be eVON, I'd have been saved from an FWOE, happily. (Lots of commas in that sentence.) Nice theme, and certainly par for the course during this most magical of seasons (which some of us choose to ignore YEAR after YEAR). I'm happy with all of the Vs today. We seem to be missing only a "q" for the pangram. Shame.

  3. 4:11
    Fun review! And nice photo of BARBS.
    I'm not all that familiar with HEADDESK, but I understand it's a natural successor to "facepalm." And didn't I hear that there's one more between those two?...