Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015, Timothy Polin



Okay, I just wanted to type all of that out. It's a great idea for a theme, splitting the 13-syllable word into 13 squares using rebuses. I knew it was going to be a rebus when I got to 12D. I actually remember the Jackie Chan movie (THETUXE[DO]) although I didn't see it. But I didn't know where the rebus would be. And my first thought for a 1964 song was "Hard Day's Night".

It became clear when I got to 62A. I had no crossings but confidently entered MARYPOPPINS, and then went through the enjoyable task of figuring out all the rebusy crossings. SPE[CIOUS] and SUF[FRAG]E are my two favorites. I'm not fond of the clue for 39D: Microsoft Office, e.g. ([SU]ITE). And 36D: Not together (A[PI]ECE) seems off as well.

There were a number of really tricky clues, including 18A: 42, for Mo (ATNO); I feel I've seen something similar before, but this is great, because Mariano Rivera (Mo) had 42 as his uniform number. 3D: Workers with pitch forks? (TUNERS) is fun. That corner was made for difficult for me by having entered SHift for SHELF.

10A: Zealot (ULTRA) is weird. Can that word be used as a noun? It shows up on thesaurus. com, but I've never seen it used that way. I did, however, enjoy ROHAN.
There are four very nice long non-theme answers, including DEADBEAT, the well-clued INSTRUMENT, ASSOCIATES (did anybody else try "paralegals"? Same number of letters!), and 57A: Sharp shooters? (NAILGUNS). I also very much enjoyed 53A: What shadows become as they lengthen (BEARDS). Well done, sir. Well done.

ATIP, however, is not so well done. Is that even a word ever at all in the history of language? I also don't love AOKAY, which I think of primarily as being written A-OK.

But otherwise, I liked the nod to English history with HENRYVI ("whose state so many had the managing/that they lost France and made his England bleed"). Not to be confused with this gentleman:
Who knew he had two Oscars to his name?

Fun Thursday puzzle.

- Colum


  1. Have I mentioned my Mythical Top 20 lately? Well, Mary Poppins is way up high in it, so I loved this offering! I wonder if anyone has ever done a rebus by syllables before. I really didn't mind SUITE. In fact, I thought Suite right away and after much confusion across the middle that answer was what finally confirmed the trick for me. It probably didn't help that, for lack of a better answer, I had entered aSIANRUG for 40-Down. I don't have too much to add to your review; I liked many of the same clues/answers. The clue for BEARDS was the only thing in the puzzle I had starred, but I too enjoyed SPECIOUS, SUFFRAGE, DEADBEAT, and the trivia about Mr. MAGOO. Also agree with you on ATIP and AOKAY. Very poor, especially the latter. How about GOUP? It looks very weird, but I kind of like it since the phrase is so perfect for the clue. I had never heard or seen that definition of ULTRA either. Very fine Thursday. Even after I got the theme, it was indeed fun to piece together all of the syllables and their crossing words.

  2. 0:56:06

    As Geraint Thomas said yesterday, "Sometimes you're the hammer, and sometimes you're a cheap Ikea nail." OK, I shortened it a bit. Anyway, I got the theme relatively quickly, believe it or not, but somehow did not realize it was syllables (sometimes I don't put 2 and 2 together, it seems) and spent a very long time with the I/DO/CIOUS part. In fact, that whole NE corner took us about 3/4 of the time today. ULTRA has already been discussed, ROHAN was not coming to us, even MAGNIFICENT took forever because I thought it would be something straight from the lyrics, instead of a general description. Had diADEM for a while… oh well. We finally got it, and all's well that end's well, right? Fun one. I love this theme. When I was little, I memorized the backwards version of the word (not really a backward reading) and showed off by saying it at any opportunity. Heh. Kids.

  3. This took me around two hours, not because of the rebus, which I figured out quickly, but because of the difficult northern sections. They came in very, very slowly. I starred BEARDS and ATNO as well as JAILS, which took me an inordinate amount of time to get. I also liked 14D Member of a colonial army (ANT). Thumbs up from this quarter.