Chris Words #53: Themeless Eleven

Chris King’s newest offering surely isn’t 63-Across, but it’s straight fiiiire. Solve it now here!

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 10.27.27 AM

Wowie. This was something else. Remarkable. Pretty sure that was fastest themeless solving time I’ve ever logged (3:11), as there was soooo much on my wavelength. Let’s take look at some of the juicy clue/entry combos here:

  • 15A: [Completely insane] = APESHIT. This was one of those times that I had just one letter filled in (the P from A PRIORI) and thought to myself, what if this is it…can this please be the right answer because it’d be so amazing in a puzzle…? YUSSSS!
  • 16A: [Bars up north?] = O CANADA. Elegant!
  • 49A: [Creep’s facial hair] = PORNSTACHE. Getting this helped me crack open the Friday BuzzFeed puzzle, where this entry was 1A! Never actually seen “Orange is the New Black.”
  • 6D: [Site with lots of notes about pads?] = AIRBNB. Another cute clue for a fresh entry.
  • 26D: [2015 NL winner of the Hank Aaron Award] = BRYCE HARPER. And the NL MVP too–well deserved! I know PuzzleGirl is out there smiling 🙂

On top of all those gems, we’ve got IT’S BEEN REAL, MR MET (woooo!), DUST RAG, PG-RATED, N-SYNC, SAT PREPRAFFLED (dunno what it is about ??FFLE words but they always catch my fancy), HAMSTRING, FAST-PACED, and the excellent BEERGARITA, though it’s a weird combo. Added note: Not 21…heard from a friend, of course! 

All in all, I’m incredibly impressed with this puzzle. Chris’s work continues to become more lively yet even smoother, and as a sucker for freestyles, I’m a huge fan.

Three-Point Miscellany:

  • NEWB? I know NEWBIE and NOOB so this felt weird, but I’ll take it. Still got that nice indie vibe.
  • I just noticed the juxtaposition of ABBA and N-SYNC as [Band whose name comes from taking the first letter of the first names of its members] and [Band whose name comes from taking the last letter of the first names of its members] respectively. During the solve, I’d felt that the ABBA clue seemed too wordy, and I’m pretty sure I filled in N-SYNC from crossers, so it’s nice to see that this was all for good reason!
  • Does anyone actually say the phrase ALIEN TO? I dunno, it feels like a 7-letter partial to me, though I’ve seen it in quite a few puzzles as of late. So that was hands-down my least favorite entry in the puzzle, though ’tis but a minor blemish.

That’s all I’ve got for now–bummer that it’ll be another 5 weeks before another one of Chris’s themelesses appears!

Grid Kid is OUT.

  1. e.a. said:

    clues on this one were top notch


  2. Thanks all, and especially thanks to Sam. I’m very pleased with how this puzzle turned out, especially since I didn’t start constructing it until Saturday. There was also a focus on keeping the clues short, so I like to think there was more punch-per-word with this puzzle. Either way, I’m glad so much fun stuff was squeezed into the grid.


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