Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016, Mel Rosen


OK, I finished, but I don't know why we have the AG rebus. Four theme entries, each containing a pair of AG rebuses. And all the downs that run through the rebuses, of course. Is it something having to do with silver? Is it the anniversary of statehood for Nevada? Is it about the Attorney General? ...  Let's move on.

1A today is a gross one. I was not familiar with the name "CALFS-foot jelly," but it makes perfect sense that it should be aspic. I had aspic once, many years ago. It was fine. I'll give the answer a B for interestingness. My first (very confident) answer was HELL (10A: Where to go "for the company," per Mark Twain). Frannie and I use that old quote frequently. (The corollary is "Heaven for atmosphere.")

Some nice fill in STEER[AG]E (5D: Inexpensive way to go) (this word will always make me think of Arthur Stieglitz, just as "6A: Draft" meaning SWIG will always make me think of Keats - "O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been / Cool'd a long age in the deep-delvèd earth"), HASHT[AG] (10D: Part of a tweet), and FLORISTS (37D: Glad handlers?) (gladiola, I presume), and some TIRED fill in IONE, AVEO, CANA, ATVS, and TAUS. I actually kind of enjoyed OJAI (36A: City whose name sounds like a surprised greeting),

but I'm not sure what to make of the strange pair of SALTII (6D: Carter/Brezhnev pact) and JAMESII (49A: English king deposed in the Glorious Revolution). BTW, I'm so nul in English history that I needed both crosses to get the number. For those of you as uninformed as me, there were two King Jameses in England. James I and James II. In Scotland, however, there were six of them, but don't get too sure of yourself, because the last Scottish King James became James I of England. Egad…

And speaking of "egad," I did not love ENTRAIN (sorry, Dad), EDERLE, LEGGO, or ABYSM (66A: "In the dark backward and ____ of time?": Shak.) (huh?).

So overall, I don't understand the raison d'être of the theme, and there's a lot I don't particularly love in the fill… so I guess that - even though I love a rebus - I will not give this one a thumbs up.

- Horace


  1. 12:49 (FWOE)
    I will not [AG]REETODIS[AG]REE with you. I don't get the theme, and I haven't looked elsewhere yet to see if somebody else has the answer. SWIG was my first confident answer, and I figured out the theme at DOR[AG]. There must be something more to it.

  2. 23:36
    I got SALTII off of the clue with no crosses, which gave me SWIG. The clue for SPAM (19A E-con?) is pretty good as was, I thought, the clue for ADULT (14A Full-price payer). I also don't get the reason for the rebus. I guessed JAMESII off of my first cross (ATVS), but didn't know the trivia that Horace mentioned about the Jameses. Timely that ARNIE is in there, and yes, CALFS-foot jelly is gross, but aspic, of course, reminds me of "Larks' Tongues In Aspic," which is always welcome. GOMADFOR is a great phrase, but there's a bit of a disconnect with the clue (9D Really, really dig) since the answer seems to be from a number of decades earlier than the clue. Loved 34A Drop ___ (moon) (TROU).