April 13, 2014 by manvspuzzle
Title: IT’S TAXING
Theme: Hilarious Tax Things. 7 theme answers are common phrases reimagined as tax-related terms. APRIL also shows up somewhere in there.
- 25A — Agreement for an amount to be taken from one’s salary? : WITHHOLDING CONSENT
- 33A — What C.P.A.’s wish for their clients? : MANY HAPPY RETURNS
- 49A — C.P.A.’s advice for lowering future-year liabilities? : ROLL THE CREDITS
- 67A — Chart used to calculate a married couple’s taxes? : TABLE FOR TWO
- 81A — I.R.S. update? : SCHEDULE CHANGE
- 93A — Last-minute way to reduce tax for a desperate filer? : EMERGENCY SHELTER
- 104A — C.P.A.’s masterstroke? : BRILLIANT DEDUCTION
- 100A — Deadline time appropriate to this puzzle : APRIL
Something Good: The Theme. I have a lot to complain about today, but the theme is just fine. Timely, dense, and basically fun. About as fun as taxes can get.
Bonk. Not my wavelength.
Let me be clear: I have no issue with this theme. Theme’s fine. Whatever. Pretty averagely good. Maybe even better than that. Sparkly stuff, the more I look at it. So yeah, decent theme.
But the fill is crazonkus. It felt like everywhere I turned I found something that was…I dunno…not to my taste. HAMAN crossing HEW may as well have been BAMAN/BEW or QAMAN/QEW for all I knew. Naticky. ART GLASS, EAT ALONE, THE AS and SAFE AREA all seemed basically made up (maybe they are and maybe they aren’t — that’s just what it seemed like to *this* solver). EBANKS is just asking for E-haters to get cranky. Probably the worst E-answer I’ve seen lately, if not ever. It’s certainly not helping the E-movement.
If you’re not a regular solver, ELHI crossing PALAIS probably won’t fall for you. ILLY is just silly! Same with LENITY crossing YOWL. SHAG, as clued (Retrieve and throw back, in baseball practice), could be lost on non-sports people, making the crossing (AAR) possibly impossible. TABU/APO. DREG/ANNEAL. Probably other stuff too.
Just a lot of weirdness and unfair crossings. Too much for this solver to feel very good about the puzzle in general. I’m no expert, but it seems like a lot of this could have been avoided by bringing the longer themers in closer to the middle and pushing a pair of shorter ones to the 3rd (and 19th) rows, rather than the 4th/18th we’re seeing here. A little more leeway if that had happened, I think.
So I hate to be a complainer, but this one didn’t feel very good. You can’t love them all. Hopefully lots of readers disagree with me and had a great time.
I will say I *loved* the clue for PANT (71A — Have a series of sudden inspirations?). Probably the highlight of my solve.