Friday, January 17, 2020

Friday, January 17, 2020, Ryan Patrick Smith

5:40 (FWOE and one typo)

I had a lot of fun solving this puzzle; so much fun that I was very disappointed to get the “Fiddlesticks” box popping up when I put the last letter in. My error came at 2D: Area between mountains (VALE). I put in dALE, and AdCLUB seemed weird but possible. I’ve not heard of AVCLUB as a website.

My typo came at UBOAT. Somehow I put a U in instead of the A, probably because my fingers wanted to type “about.” So maybe that’s just another error. Especially since now that I have a wireless keyboard instead of a touchpad keyboard, I thought I’d be done with typos.

So them’s the sour grapes. The rest is gravy.

Let’s start with OLIVIAWILDE, director of the really outstanding movie “Booksmart.” I can’t recommend the movie more highly. It was incredibly enjoyable and funny and intelligent. So props to Ms. Wilde, who also gets the honor of having her entire name in the NYT crossword. I’d guess the success of her movie probably means a lot more to her.

Meanwhile, look at how much other loveliness is in that NW corner. You get the classic REBECCA, Greek legend ARIADNE, and the silly slogan LIVEMAS. The NE corner adds two more well known and smart women in ISSARAE and THERESAMAY.

46A: German marks (UMLAUTS) gets high marks for humor. That trio of TRUDEAU, TITULAR, and VESPERS is brilliant.

My only thumbs down come with SEES and ACER, the first for being clued after candy I’ve never heard of, and the second for being something nobody says when referring to a tennis player. “Boy,” said the sportscaster never, “Rafael Nadal is sure a fine acer.”

57A: Made a fast stop? (ATE). Hah!

- Colum


  1. 13:07 (FWOE)
    Well, another day, another FWOE. I'm really in a funk this week. Hopefully, I'll get this out of my system by the end of March, in time for the ACPT!

    Today I thought I was out-smarting Mr. Smith by guessing bAR for "Bud's place." I never use EAR buds, so I guess I never think of them. Of course, I don't drink Bud, either, but I do frequent bars...

    Anyway, the cross should have helped me, but while scanning, APbS seemed plausible (without the clue).

    Other than that, though, I agree with Colum about the high-quality grid (although, sniff, he didn't make a mental note to remember to ask us about it...)

    I will have to remember to ask him whether filling in CRIB made him smile again about beating me by a combined 57 points in two games of CRIBbage when last we played. It was ASIF I had never played the game!

    Lastly, great clue for TIS (What precedes the season?). Hah!

  2. 16:49 (FWOE)
    Add me to the FWOE club, at the same spot and for the same reason as Colum's (AVCLUB/VALE cross). And like Horace, I entered bAR from the clue, thinking I was quite clever, but the cross fixed that up for me. Really nice-looking grid today. I needed many crosses for ELECTRONICA, a term that I've never heard since I don't hear (thankfully) any techno or house music (whatever that is). And I wanted plasmaTV where SMARTTV goes, but it just wouldn't fit, and I'm not even sure they're still made. Odd that Fridays for me have been consistently faster solves than Thursdays lately.