Botanical wings / WED 2-5-14 / Knife of old / Lacrosse goalie's area / Gear-cutting tools / Sitcom character from Melmac / James who was portrayed by Beyonce / Spotted wildcat / Like some Uno cards
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Constructor: Tracy Gray
Relative difficulty: Easy
- 17A: *Any foreseeable difficulty (HELL OR HIGH WATER)
- 25A: *"Good night, John-Boy" series ("THE WALTONS")
- 50A: *Fearsome shark (GREAT WHITE)
- 59A: *"Why am I not surprised?" ("SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW?")
- A shelf or projection at the back or side of a fireplace, used for keeping food or utensils warm.
- A tool used for cutting the teeth of machine parts, as of a gearwheel.
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/hob#ixzz2sPreEla1
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SHHHH is ridiculous. A total, out-and-out, reject-the-puzzle-and-ask-for-a-do-over Fail, largely because it's a. nonsense, b. avoidable, c responsible, at least partially, for PAHS (the dumbest thing in this, or any, grid, SAK notwithstanding). Holy mother of pearl what is going on with the fill negligence here? I mean, look: why is there a "B" in 12D?? That is, who decided RUBE / OBE (!?!) beat RUDE / ODE (an actual word). I keep rewriting that section in my head over and over because there are so many ways to do it, all of which avoid OBE.
I like the final theme answer, but the rest, you can have. SAK / ALAE!? ACTA ESS HOBS SNEE TASSE … and that's all just from two adjacent sections. The fill is self-parodying on this one. Again, I think the core theme concept is solid, but the puzzle should've been sent back with suggestions on how to bring it up to snuff. Thankfully, the subpar fill didn't create any solving hassles. I crushed this one in something like 3 and change. But I can't say I enjoyed it. I just keep looking at SAK / ALAE and wondering "why?" I keep seeing that sad crying Indian from the '70s anti-littering commercials. The garbage: It's all so unnecessary.
Byron Walden is the only person ever to use SHHHH in a major publication (according to cruciverb.com). If you are as talented as Byron *and* your puzzle has a dense "Walker, Texas Ranger" theme (or the equivalent), then, and only then, do you have permission to break the glass and use SHHHH. And no one may use PAHS. Ever. Ever. Ever.