Friday, August 11, 2023

Friday, August 11, 2023, John-Clark Levin

Nice one! I loved the hidden capitals in here. "Turner once big in the music industry" (CDPLAYER) was great, but "Star close to Venus?" (SERENA) was brilliant. Also outstanding in the misleading department was "What many sentences end with" (PAROLE). Excellent cluing. There are some, like "Handled things outside?" (HOES) that are kinda cutesy. I mean, it's good, but it's not quite in the same league as those first three. And what do we think about "Sole employee?" (COBBLER). Me, I liked it. Oh, and another hidden capital is right next to that: "Continental, e.g." (LINCOLN). Solid.


And another feature of good clue/answer pairs (C/APs) is when two plausible answers would both fit into the given space. Like with "White Russian ingredient." I knew that both "coffee" and KAHLUA would both fit, so I waited until I had some crosses before entering anything. But with the very next clue, "Opens the door for, maybe," I didn't think about GREETS, so I went with the near-crosswordese "sees in." I often wonder how much these dual possibilities enter the mind of the constructor or cluer of a puzzle. I mean ... it must be something they think about from time to time. (See also: "London's ____ Park, near Epsom Downs." Since I have no idea where Epsom Downs is, and since I generally need to make a few guesses to get started on a late-week puzzle, I dropped in "Hyde," knowing full well that I might have to change it. The real answer, OAKS, was a park that I was not aware of, so in the end it relied entirely on crosses.)

So far so good. Add a little interesting trivia "Locale in Belmar, N.J. that lent its name to a noted rock-'n'-roll band" (ESTREET), a little foreign language "Tomato-and-basil pasta sauce" (POMODORO), and a little side-by-side clue connection, like "Pasta sauce ingredient" (OLIVEOIL) immediately following the POMODORO clue, and you've got yourself a very nice crossword puzzle.

- Horace


1 comment:

  1. A Friday that took longer than the Saturday that followed. I really wanted to spell THESKYSTHELIMIT with "skies" which doesn't make grammatical sense, and slowed me down in that corner.