Friday, January 27, 2023

Friday, January 27, 2023, Joe Deeney

I think we need a new term for this kind of puzzle: it's a themeless puzzle, only there's kind of a little theme. I'm leaning towards a semi-themed puzzle, but happy to take suggestions!

In any case, Mr. Deeney offers up two pairs of stacked 16-letter answers where the top is the name of a piece of entertainment art, and the bottom is the name of a person involved in the making of the art. Thus, THESOCIALNETWORK starred (in a supporting role) JUSTINTIMBERLAKE. And JAGGEDLITTLEPILL, that watermark album of the 1990s was recorded by ALANISMORISSETTE. I'm very impressed that Mr. Deeney got the latter in particular to work, because there are no other choices.

To be fair, only Mr. Timberlake supplies the correct number of letters. Jess Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield both come in at 14 letters, while Dakota Johnson has only 13. So, not many choices there.

SYD Barrett

But look at the crosses over these pairs of answers. The lower half is incredibly smooth, and allows for NBAJAM, the excellent HOOLIGAN, as well as the amusing C/AP at 44D: Industry with lots to offer (REALTY). I also love 39D: That's what you think! (OPINION). It's as if the constructor is pointing at the answer and exclaiming about it!

In the upper half, things are not quite as smooth. STJOES is acceptable, although non-fans of NCAA basketball might have trouble. MOILS and ITRY are a little rough. On the other hand, Philbo probably lit up with CNTOWER (nice ROI there! "Tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere"). And TOAMOUSE and ARKANSAS (only active diamond mine in the US?! ROI!) were nice additions.

Anyway, that's my opinion. What do GNU think?

- Colum


  1. If Philbo did drop CNTOWER in, we’d have that in common! Even though I didn’t go up in it when we visited Toronto, I knew the answer off the clue - same with the clue for SEINE, which I enjoyed. Elsewhere, I wasn’t too keen. As you guessed, Colum, STJOES was a devil for this solver. A lot of it seemed forced. I especially didn’t like LASSES, SKEEZY, or the answer FONZ without a “the.” I did like CHUNKY and IOTAS, though.

  2. Oh yes! CNTOWER was a write-in for me. And Alanis Morrissette - fellow Canadian. I felt a certain kinship!! Back to CNTOWER. I've been up it a number of times - once via the stairway (1,760 steps if I remember correctly) for charity. Took me 18 minutes - that was back when I was young and spry. Tremendous view from the top! 7:17 for me, significantly speedier than this week's tough Thursday..

    1. Ha! I beat you once this week! I came in at 5:46.

  3. 8:41 for me, also significantly faster than Thursday. I've been up once, back when we visited Toronto during the SARS era. Good times. It took me a minute or two, but I did step out onto the glass floor. Yikes!

    And I agree with Frannie, for me it's either "The Fonz," or "Fonzie." Although I can almost hear Potsie saying, "You know, Fonz..." ... there I go torpedoing my own complaint! I'm a terrible reviewer... :)

  4. FONZ is weak. Not LOUSY, just not quite right. Took me over a half hour. Slow for a Friday. Nice to see my girlfriend ANYA in the grid.