Small eel / TUE 2-3-15 / Doughnuts mathematically / Actress Patten Anders / Rocker Barrett / Good in Jewish exclamation / Sports star turned model Gabrielle / Things on my guitar in 2008 Taylor Swift song /
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Constructor: Joe Krozel
Relative difficulty: Challenging (*for a Tuesday*)
THEME: missing initials — all Across clues are common initialisms that are missing one initial; answers to those clues are the words that the missing initials represent. So all the Acrosses are "theme answers."
Word of the Day: GRIG (1D: Small eel) —
• • •
GRIG and LUANA (?) and multiple DRATS etc., but somehow puzzling out the missing initials ended up being a reasonably entertaining way to spend five minutes (way Way higher than my average Tuesday time—this should've been a Wednesday, for sure). Difficulty on this one arose from several factors, but chief among them was the non-transparency of many of the initialisms in the Acrosses. Some of them were quite easy to pick up (once you figured out the gimmick), but others required a lot of work. Wanted UPS before GPS, SWAT before SWAK, BMW before BTW, etc. And if you can't figure out the initial straight off, you really have to work the crosses, or else run the alphabet looking for the initial you're not thinking of. Either way, you're spending way more time thinking about many answers than you normally would on a Tuesday. I'm highly disappointed in myself for not knowing a 2008 Taylor Swift "hit" (20D: Things "on my guitar" in a 2008 Taylor Swift hit = TEARDROPS). Then I looked it up and found out the song (which is actually called "TEARDROPS On My Guitar") only "hit" number 48 on the Hot 100 charts. That is not a real hit. That is a middling single. Only someone utterly unfamiliar with popular music could clue TEARDROPS that way. And yet now I feel better armed for the Swiftian future I will inevitably be inhabiting. Still, kinda disappointed the answer wasn't NOTCHES.
Even the junky fill ended up being, at times, interesting. I like how the consecutive answers at 10- and 11-Down, neither of them very desirable on their own, become almost a pop star when you look at them side by side.
B+ idea, C+ execution, so all in all, above average work.