Saturday, October 10, 2020

Saturday, October 10, 2020, Brian Thomas

33:59, FWOE

I broke into the puzzle at the top right, thanks to the gimme (for me) at 11D: "Longtime head of the Boston Symphony Orchestra" SEIJIOZAWA. I didn't know INTERMILAN (Italian soccer club with three Champions League titles), but I had heard the term FOODDESERT (Area with limited access to supermarkets), and, as luck would have it, I recently saw a poster in a bus shelter for RENO 911!, both of which helped make short work of that section.
I had not previously heard of a BOOBIRD (Angry arenagoer, in slang), and am not familiar with the work of Fela Kuti (AFROBEAT), which caused me some trouble as I tried to expand in my success in that section to solve the rest of the puzzle, but eventually I made the puzzle CEDE to my efforts. 
I particularly liked the clue "Remote hiding spot?" I thought immediately of  the too-long 'couch', but it took me some time to convert it to the synonymous-but-shorter SOFA. I also enjoyed "Mass medium" (LATIN) and "Requirement for some drilling: Abbr." (DDS).

I FWOED due to the age-old problem of not checking the Downs after entering a "definite" Across answer. I try to remember, but it seems to be NOUSE! At 1A. I had entered WHAm for "Smack!" which struck me as not only cromulent, but apt. Apt! However, I got all the other answers in that northwest section from the Across clues, and thus failed to notice that the M in WHAm messed with the head of the PELICAN at 4D (It has a big pouch).
Looking at the Down C/APs in the northeast section for the review I found items of interest. The origin of the name of the HOBO spider has a certain appeal, and the previous name of AVON caught my attention. I think they made the right choice with the name change. "California Perfune Company calling" just doesn't have the same ring to it. And who doesn't enjoy the word WHET?
I felt the puzzle as a whole delivered less excitement than it seemed to promise with its abundance of J's and Z's, plus five "expression" clues conjuring dramatic scenes (ITSWAR, IMHIT, ASIF), but to ENDON a HIFI note, there was still an AMT of good BIZ INIT

1 comment:

  1. 25:24
    I filled this one in slowly but surely. A small slowdown occurred in the NW because I entered EBOLAvirus after getting a couple of crosses, but that didn't work out too well. I wanted chuckberry where FATSDOMINO belongs, but didn't enter it because I had no crosses, and he was born in Missouri. Nice clue for THEBAMBINO (62A "Babe"). Did anyone else try SPAMmer where SPAMBOT goes? IMHIT brings to mind, of course, the well-known story of why Kramer and Newman hate Keith Hernandez.