Friday, July 22, 2022

Friday, July 22, 2022, David Steinberg

How'd it get to be Friday already? These weeks speed by sometimes.

Mr. Steinberg has had a reputation as a challenging constructor in the past, but I think he's smoothed out his style nicely over the years. I'm sad that I FWOE'd this one, and it came on 1A: [Ooh, you're sexy!] (RAWR). I put RoWR. Could the French phrase have been "O là!"? Possibly. I get that "À la" is better. In retrospect, of course.

The rest of the puzzle went reasonably swimmingly, however. I actually broke in with 21D: Company behind the Hula-Hoop and Frisbee (WHAMO), a gimme if ever there was one. I worked my way up into the NE corner, with a lovely LEMONSAUCE and the famous phrase "It's door die!" Oh, wait. I misparsed that (ITSDOORDIE). 

5A: Bed in the kitchen? (RICE) was the first of a number of odd QMCs today. This one works fine. We'll get to some others later on. I was unaware of how many string TRIOS Haydn wrote, being more familiar with his 68 string quartets. Apparently he wrote 20 some odd trios for the standard violin, viola, and cello, but over 120 for the baryton, viola, and cello. Baryton, I hear you ask? Yes! It's related to the viola da gamba, and is not played much any more.

21A: Butt of a joke? (WHOOPEECUSHION) almost works. I just can't quite parse the clue to make it fit. Or maybe I don't want to think about it too hard.

24D: Bolt for the finish line? (USAIN) also doesn't quite work, in my opinion. I get the connection, but it doesn't parse well.

42D: Latin lovers, officially speaking? (POPES) is my least favorite. It's funny, that last piece of the phrase. I get that when the Pope puts out an edict, it's in Latin. Anyhoo, YMMV.

WHITNEYHOUSTON gets some well deserved love. And UTTERBORES is excellent.

Perhaps the best C/AP in my opinion is 34A: Like Goliath, in the Bible story (SLAIN). Yes. Yes, indeed.

- Colum


  1. Totally agree with you about the oddity of the clues. They were close, but not quite. Also close but not quite was my own first attempt at 1A - hAWt - and hAY looks good, but tEDHOTS, not so much, so I was able to fix things up before the end. :)

  2. How about RAY for "Line in geometry"? I think it's fine, but it's using the common, informal definition of line for a specific geometric construction. I like Steinberg's puzzles, they are distinctive, but he is a long way from winning the Most Mature/Sophisticated Constructor award. AHOYTHERE for the somewhat formal-sounding "Ship-to-ship communication" is my favorite C/AP today. Fun solve.