Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wednesday, August 3, 2016, Neville Fogarty


Another classic rebus (that is, old style rebus) puzzle. We just had one of these last week. I love this sort of thing, and Mr. Fogarty's example of it is very well done. He has chosen four song titles, all of them in the form [gerund] in the [noun], and reinterprets them as placing the gerund inside the noun. All four of the nouns are 4 letters long; even better, two of the answers' gerunds are six letters long because they're missing the G, while the other two are seven letters long with the G. Symmetry is maintained.

All four song titles are very well known, and represent the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s, and 2000s. I'm actually fond of all four, and would rank them as follows:

1. RASINGININ (Singin in the Rain)
2. WIBLOWINND (Blowin in the Wind)
3. DEROLLINGEP (Rolling in the Deep)
4. DADANCINGRK (Dancing in the Dark)

Your mileage may vary, of course, and I want to emphasize that the relative rankings do not imply that the lower ones are unappreciated.

The fill is pretty good overall. 11D: Where Venice is (LOSANGELES) was deceptive for a while. FOUNDMONEY is an odd phrase, although I see how it fits the clue "Change out of an old pair of pants?" I'm not sure I buy it as a real thing, but the clue is funny. 46A: How many try to capture Bigfoot (ONCAMERA) is very good, but ALOERTER was a tough get. Turns out he captured the gold medal for discus in four consecutive Olympics, from age 20 to 32, which explains why he is the only one ever to have done this.

The NE and SW 4x4 sections are completely isolated, which I don't like. On the other hand, both have an X in them, so that added interest.

1A: Mel who co-wrote "The Christmas Song" (TORME) gets a D+. The Velvet Fog's name is a well-worn piece of crosswordese, and is only redeemed here by a slightly more interesting clue. I entered it as my first answer in the grid, but I was not 100% convinced that it was correct, so the first answer that fit that description for me was 2D: '60s sitcom son (OPIE). Talk about two outdated answers! 1D: Hamlet's relative (TOWN) needed more crosses for me to figure out. Excellent clue.

- Colum


  1. 15:22
    I love this kind of rebus, too. My rankings were slightly different, with "Blowin' in the Wind" first followed by "Singin' in the Rain," "Dancing in the Dark" and last, "Rolling in the Deep," since I've never heard of it. TORME is well-worn, so I concur with the D+ rating...IGETIT. Nice clue for AARON Paul, who was fantastic in "Breaking Bad." Excellent Wednesday, despite the shortcomings.

  2. 13:32

    "Hi-ho the dairy-o, the gerund in the noun..."

    I enjoyed this, too, and agree with both the ranking of songs and the rating of 1A, although when I put TORME in, I was 100% confident. It took me a while, though, to realize what was going on with the rebus. I like having a little added interest on a Wednesday. I also enjoyed the somewhat unusual clueing all around, some of which has already been addressed.

    The influence of older brothers who were interested in sports allowed me to recognize ALOERTER when it appeared, but I never would have thought of it without crosses.

  3. Oh, and I meant to say that for me, there's a wide gulf between song three and song four. Sorry, Bruce.