Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017, Lynn Lempel


The snow is coming down something fierce up here in the Northeast. It's nice to be inside, looking at all of it accumulating. Tomorrow, however, will be another story...

Today's puzzle takes standard two syllable words and reinterprets them as if they were two separate words, with one exception, but it's one that I didn't mind. Then the new phrases are clued appropriately with predictably wacky results.

I think my favorite is 36D: What a cash-strapped beau might take you on? (UNFUNDEDMANDATES). I like the idea of a man date. Appropriate for man lovers of all genders, I think, no? Also, the idea of telling addressing the author of The Masque of the Red Death, POETRYREADING is amusing.

What do people think about BRAINWAVES? It's the one answer that doesn't use a two-syllable word to start with, but the reinterpretation is brilliant ("Result of a serious wardrobe malfunction at the beach?"). I'm all for it. The phrase, I mean, not the actual occurrence. Unless it was done voluntarily, of course. Then I'm all for that too.

I did not like FATALATTRACTION. Poor Al Roker. Did he deserve that? Even if we're agreeing that he was winsome in his pre-surgical state? And did he actually undergo gastric bypass surgery? Apparently he did. I'm going to cry a foul on this one.
Kiddie lit? Aren't they just children's books?

Otherwise, the puzzle is pretty smooth. I like 73A: It may deliver a punch (LADLE) - no question mark needed. The two split names, cross-referenced, of IRA / GLASS and GENE / AUTRY are put in the correct order. I particularly like that Mr. Autry was clued using Frosty the Snowman. Did you know he also wrote Here Comes Santa Claus and the first to record Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

There is a strange military aspect to the eastern portion of the puzzle, where a RAWRECRUIT crosses a TROOPSHIP, which itself crosses the chill-inducing GOOSESTEP.

1A: Topic for Dr. Ruth (LIBIDO) gets a B+.

- Colum


  1. 44:50
    This fell comfortably into my 40-60 minute zone for a Sunday, so thumbs up. I loved the theme. I broke in with FUMANCHUMUSTACHE, which is amusing. I wanted Jimmy Durante for "Frosty the Snowman" singer, for obvious reasons. I enjoyed 19A Sound system? (PHONICS), even with the question mark. And GOOFFONATANGENT is excellent. Nice having NASH and Poe represented up in the NW together. Frannie must have enjoyed FICHE, though it's a bit dated, maybe. And the PEAT, ah the PEAT!

  2. This played a little tougher than recent Sundays for me, but I loved it. The theme was great, and I loved BRAINWAVES. HA! I also love the cold severity of JUSTICEFORALL. Hilarious.

    Some nice, unusual words in the fill (SODDEN, AVERT, PYLON, JAUNTY, INFERNO, CABALA, NETTLES) and some I found less exciting (PEENS, LANKER, DAVA (?)). Overall, though, thumbs up!