"It does what it says on the tin," as the old saying goes. Or, to be slightly more clear, the title of the puzzle demonstrates the change from A to OU that will happen in all theme entries, by taking the familiar phrase "Shifting Sands" and changing it to the explanatory "Shifting Sounds." Each new creation is then clued in a wacky way. Some, as usual, work better than others. I was amused by COUNCELEDCHECK (Advised a chess player to attack the king?), for instance, but TROUNCESTATE (Decisively defeat a cabinet department?) seemed a bit of a stretch.
|If you've got time, you might enjoy reading this Ian Frazier piece.|
"Places to exchange dollars for quarters" was a cute clue for INNS, as was "Make an engaging offer?" for PROPOSE, and I laughed out loud when I finally got HIMBO (Attractive, but vacuous guy, in slang). And speaking of laughing, I can't hear the name "Mary, Queen of Scots" without thinking of "The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots" by Monty Python. I'm not sure it's historically accurate, but from listening to that ridiculous skit I did learn that she was executed.
I've never heard the term SOCKO for "Smashing," and ABOIL seems not only esoteric, but also more specific than just "Bubbling," but it's best to ENURE oneself to the occasional unpleasant entry, and focus instead on the humorous and interesting bits. Who knew MAGPIES could recognize themselves in mirrors, for example?