Glutton for Pun #179 by Erik Agard


Another themeless from the Glutton. Solve here, then click on down the road.

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Hi everyone! we have another 17×13 themeless this week, and I’d like to blame my performance on a horrible cold and other stuff, but this puzzle was a Did Not Finish with a capital, italic, underlined DNF for me. Things usually start slowly for me, with a short entry here and there…AMIS, TET, COTE, ATA, and KEN went in pretty quickly. Then, almost nothing. I made some headway in the SE corner with LAG, ULNA (which tripped me up initially until I remembered that humans have forearms but not forelegs, whereas fuzzy feline friends like Goomba here have forelegs), and SPEED.

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Then there was a word here and there interspersed with a whole lot of nothing. Eventually I resorted to Googling, which I almost never have to do with Erik’s puzzles. Among the entries I looked up are ERIC ANDRE, ROSE ROYCE, LINDA RONSTADT, OLIVIER Rousteing, and Pau CASALS. I had Lyle Crocodile for the longest time instead of NILE crocodile, which caused a lot of trouble in that corner. Most of the puzzle was a slog for me, which detracted from its amazing longer entries. Now to purge the rest of the negativity, the partial AS YE [“___ sow, so…”] tripped me up, and has amazingly been used more times in the NYT in the Shortz era (19) than in the pre-Shortz era (14). Finally, O NAME [Olive or Oliver, e.g.]. If this were acceptable, it would open up 26 six-letter fill options, but ick. I’m guessing this entry is what Erik referred to in his recent tweet:

Now it’s time to return to our happy place. I absolutely love I NAILED IT, PAY TOILET clued as [Place with a going rate], all three central 15s, SAY IT TO MY FACE, and UTTER DISASTER. Both [“Sup, Maria”] for AVE and [The assent of Manuel?] for  SÍ make me giggle. I appreciate the tribute to the recently departed David Bowie in the clue for METRE [“Something happened on the day he died/Spirit rose a ___ and stepped aside” (Bowie “Blackstar” lyric)]. Finally, the clue [Growing out your hair between cuts, maybe] for CONTINUITY ERROR is brilliant.

Overall, this puzzle has some real gems, but the frustration I encountered throughout made this a less than fun solve for me. Your mileage may vary, based on your music and pop culture knowledge. Until next week, my Heroes, my Diamond Dogs, and my Young Americans…

  1. erinium said:

    It’s okay. Usually I know some of the names and can fill in gaps from crossings; this time the names were out of my reach. Other people may have no problem.


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