Monday, April 22, 2013
Constructor: Allan E. Parrish
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: Bat-to-But vowel progression puzzle —
- 18A: Louisville Slugger, e.g. (BASEBALL BAT)
- 24A: Wager that's not made at the site of the race (OFF-TRACK BET)
- 37A: Hole-positioning gadget (CENTER BIT)
- 56A: Automated Web program (INTERNET BOT)
- 62A: By no means (ANYTHING BUT)
Word of the Day: CENTER BIT —
A drill bit having a sharp center point, used in carpentry for boring holes.
• • •
Found this one pretty dull. Vowel progression puzzles are common, and need to have some damned spicy answers in order to be at all interesting / not reek of antiquity. Today, theme answers are adequate, and they actually get better as the puzzle progresses, but the cluing is ultra-snoozy—perhaps because it's Monday and the cluing needed to be as transparent as possible. Clues are just so literal. [Not made at the site of the race] => OFF-TRACK. [Web] => INTERNET. Plodding and unimaginative cluing combined with just OK theme answers = not much joy in Rexville. Doesn't help that the non-theme fill is from some dusty crossword attic. Perversely, my favorite part of this grid is AAA over RRR. That's some daring stacking. I wonder how far someone could take that idea—stacking triple-letter answers. Consider the gauntlet thrown.
OK, that's it. Brace yourself for tomorrow's puzzle. The early chatter is ... insane (it was one of the puzzles at the Marbles crossword tournament that took place this past weekend; my friends were ... let's say 'impressed'; yes, that's non-commital enough).