Heckelphone lookalike / FRI 5-29-15 / Steel brackets with two flanges / 1998 coming-of-age novel by Nick Hornby / Setting for hawthorne's marble faun / Ben who played wizard in wicked / First high priest of Israelites / Broadway chorus dancers informally / Arabian port home to Sinbad Island
Friday, May 29, 2015
Constructor: Patrick Berry
Relative difficulty: Medium or Brutal, depending
Word of the Day: EYE RHYMES (36A: Four-hour tour features?) —
Wow, this did not end well for me. I have not come that close to not being able to finish an NYT puzzle in a long, long time. I can't remember how long. I was cruising along just fine—felt like a pretty normal Friday, difficulty-wise—and I was thinking, "well, it's not the greatest Patrick Berry puzzle I've ever done, but it's pretty good." So all was right with the world. And then, just as I was closing in on the finish line: disaster. Specifically, this:
I honestly thought I was dead. EYER- couldn't be right … and yet there was no way around it. And EYERH- … that just looked like crazy talk. Weirdly, the *only* way I managed to pull out of it all was to imagine suffixes (staring with "S"?!?!?) that could make adjectives. I just stumbled into -SOME. Tested it … it worked with GOT TO … and then ASS became APE and I was done. The "?" clue on EYE RHYMES … that's the most obscure term in the grid (even if you don't think it's obscure, there's nothing in the grid that's obscurer), and you put a "?" on it? Talk about your Unsatisfying Experiences. How can I know how clever the "?" is if the term itself is meaningless to me?
But perhaps the moral of the story is: "don't give up" or "be patient" or "hang in there, baby." I was done for. I was so done for, I stopped to tweet about how done-for I was. But I waited the puzzle out and scratched and clawed my way up from an F to, like, a D. Good enough!
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