THE MYSTERY OF MCGUFFIN MANOR
Frannie and I solved this one together, which is always fun. She noticed the celebrity name connections to the suspects' occupations, and together we realized that the diamond must be in the Parlor (it's diamond shape was, we thought, a bit of a giveaway). What we did not notice, however, is that "MCGUFFIN" is spelled out clockwise in the very center of that "room." Whew! That's a lot going on in one Sunday puzzle! But it was fun to have an extra puzzle within the puzzle to solve.
Even with all that theme, Mr. Chaikin (and, quite possibly, the editor and his team) managed to cram in even more entertainment. I thought "What might come with fencing?" (SCAR) was surprising. They're talking about a SCAR you might get from an épée, right? "Getaway for two lovebirds?" was a cute clue for ARK, I loved the terseness of "Too busy" for CANT, and I liked the bonus theme reference in "Diamond family name" (ALOU). Hah! And what about "Word that sounds like a number ... and is a letter backward" for ATE? And "What it all adds up to" for SUM. And "Music for the masses? (HYMN). Nice.
As with almost any puzzle, and certainly one with so much forced thematic material, you're going to get oddballs like OSMOSED (Seeped (through)), SEAROOM (Space to maneuver a ship), AFIRE (Flambé), and NSEW (The compass points) (wow), but such things bother me less and less. Almost more of an issue for me are "unpleasant" entries like NOOSES (Some knotted ropes).
You know, in my head (because I would never put such thoughts into writing!) I often think that the current attention paid to "trigger warnings" is overblown, but here I am with my own triggers. I guess I should get back to basics and start to "know myself" before critiquing beyond that small sphere.
The Delphic maxims are lovely, by the way. "Know thyself," "nothing to excess," and "surety brings ruin."
Good words to live by, but they kind of go against the whole idea of a blog like this.
Still, I can, I think, say that I thought this was a fun and interesting Sunday puzzle.