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 Post subject: Themeless Puzzle
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:33 am
Posts: 49
Location: Los Angeles
According to test-solvers, it's about a Saturday LAT level. Enjoy!


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Kaidoku! New puzzle every Monday and Thursday. http://www.alexboisvert.com/blog/
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 Post subject: Re: Themeless Puzzle
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:30 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:44 pm
Posts: 11
Hey Alex,
From a solver's point of view, a solid Saturday themeless. Very challenging, and most of the puzzle eventually worked itself out with some thought. I enjoyed the multi-word phrases throughout.
The upper-left was particularly thorny due to the vagueness of the clues in the extreme NW corner, and the specificity of the name in 17-A. Perhaps a slight loosening of the difficulty of one or two clues in that corner could pave the way a bit for non-baseball fans. (I knew the name, but others might not).

The only other two spots that I noticed that might be a struggle are 37-A, of which no letters can be intuited based on the clue (although crossings are solvable), and 40-A.
I'd beware of store/company name clues such as 40-A. I looked this one up, and noted that this franchise has mostly Southern U.S. locations. They have one location in my state within another store, which explains why I had never heard of them; in a good part of the U.S. they would not be well-known. Depending on the audience, this could be fine though. For national syndication, I'd change that clue.

Anyhow, it's been an unexpectedly stressful weekend, and this was a nice break today. Took me while to get here and solve, but thanks for submitting! Enjoyed it.
- Howard B.


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 Post subject: Re: Themeless Puzzle
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:33 am
Posts: 49
Location: Los Angeles
Howard,

Thanks a lot for the feedback. I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to themelesses, so any help is welcome. I didn't realize 37-A was as little known as it is, and I certainly had no idea about 40-A (I guess it's a California-based chain). I submitted it to Rich who turned it down because of 10-D (which is pretty bad) and 37-A. I was also worried about 43-A but people don't seem to mind it.

Glad you enjoyed it!

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Kaidoku! New puzzle every Monday and Thursday. http://www.alexboisvert.com/blog/


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 Post subject: Re: Themeless Puzzle
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:01 am
Posts: 146
Location: Tshwane/Port Elizabeth
Yeah, I'd say Saturday LAT, except the top-left which is Saturday NYT! Yeesh, that part was thorny. Not in a bad way, I guess. Any place with a long baseballer with a weirdly spelled name is gonna be tough, and like Howard noted the rest of the clues are kind of vague (AND 6-,7-,8d were kinda unknown to me too...), which is expected in a themeless. Don't see why anyone who can pull of some of the tough themed grids I've seen you pull of >can't< do a themeless. Re 43A, actually initially settled on MINORNOBLES (not even sure if that's even correct, probably not, my feudalism's rather vague). Loved 11D's clue - new, clever clue for TEE! Also liked 27D, for some reason my mind leapt to Allen and not Guthrie!

One query: Pina colada is a "swim-up" bar drink? What does "swim-up" mean? Googling is getting me links about sperm quality!!! Don't want sperm in any drink (bar or otherwise)!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Themeless Puzzle
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:49 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:44 pm
Posts: 11
Alex - keep it up, you'll be fine. Plenty of people to test-solve and give feedback, including constructors with a lot better advice to give then I can. Some clever cluing in there, too. A lot of people forget that part, and it seems to be tougher than it looks.

Gareth: A "Swim-up" bar is a somewhat colloquial term for a bar, often seen at a resort or tropical getaway, which is attached to a swimming pool, jacuzzi, or some other relaxing aquatic sort of place... ooh, that does sound nice right about now... but I digress.
One can "swim up" to the bar from the water, order a drink, then enjoy without ever leaving the comfort of the pool. I guess in theory you can order anything, but the tropical drink angle is what comes to mind most easily when picturing that scene.


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