Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016, John Guzzetta


I like MOXIE (16A: Grit) (the entry, not the drink), and BAUBLES (21A: Many an étagère display) (and the fact that "étagère" has both aigu and grave accents), and how many of us plunked in "Elsa" where ANNA (33A: "Frozen" princess) ended up? Hah! CHURCHY (23D: Intolerantly pious) was amusing, ANGLOPHONE (27D: Like the Bahamas, Barbados and Belize) was nice (I had ANGLOPHilE at first, but just because they're ANGLOPHONE countries, doesn't make the people Anglophiles!), and MARSHES (19D: Rail hubs?) gets the prize for trickiest clue today. (Rails are marsh birds.)

So those are some of the STRENGTHS (42A: Longest word in English containing only one vowel) (interesting). Some of the things that rubbed me the wrong way, unfortunately, were some of the marquee elements: TEACHABLEMOMENT (17A: Teen's fender bender, maybe) sounds awful to me. The "tough guy" pairing of CHESTHAIR (25A: Symbol of virility) and "38A: One of the eight points of contact in Muay Thai" (KNEE) (it's full-contact fighting), underscores, for me, anyway, the microagression (to use another term like TEACHABLEMOMENT) inherent in BIOLOGICALCLOCK (54A: Concern in family planning). And my least favorite of all is DECLAW (45D: Make furniture-safe, in a way). Can we just not act as though it's just "something to do" to cats? A way to fix them, to make them more "convenient" creatures to own? How about this idea? If you're so worried about your sofa getting a pull, don't get a cat! Put a big plastic cover on it and never go in the room where it is. That way, it'll be pristine when the movers have to take it out and put it somewhere else after you die.

It gets a little gluey toward the bottom with TORIC (40D: Doughnutlike) and QAID (52D: Muslim judge of North Africa), and up top, we've got the unfortunate pile of SCAT and POOH...

1A: Gets steamy, with "up" (FOGS) gets a B-. The minus is for the "with ____" convention.

Let's end on another good point. I liked learning that IGLOO is "56A: Inuit for "house."

Not terrible, but obviously not my favorite.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. 11:53
    My nits to pick today: ONEPERCENT should have a "the" in the clue, don't you AGREE? And I'm very upset with the idea that "Brains" is reduced to GRAYMATTER. There's so much white matter that's super important in intelligence and the act of COGITATING. In fact, the gray matter makes up 40% of the brain (not quite the difference the Occupy movement is so activist about, but still).

    I initially had hOtS up at 1A. I would have liked that tons better.