Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017, Damon Gulcynski


Kind of a quiet Thursday theme today, with six answers using XSANDOS symbolically, as revealed in 38-Across. Boy I used to hate hearing THREEX[times]ALADY (3D: 1978 #1 hit for the Commodores) on the radio when I was little. I never really liked the expression X[kiss]MYGRITS (5D: Sitcom catchphrase of the '70s and '80s) either, but I do like the use of an X to signify a kiss (see also BEARO[hugs]S), so I'll give that one a thumbs up. And O[zero]SUMGAME (39D: Situation in which, on the whole, nothing can be gained or lost) just came up in a training session I was in yesterday, so that's kind of interesting. To me. :) And finally, 26D: Went back to where it all began (TURNEDFULLO[circle]) makes us think again of Inigo looking for Vizzini in "The Princess Bride."

1A: Abbr. before a date (ESTD) - D. I think we've estd. that we dislike abbrs. at 1A.
Favorite: 44A: They'll make your hair stand on end (GELS). Ha! (runner up: 28D - ESSES)
Least favorite: 33D: Vessel opener (STENT). Eeewww.

I had never heard the expression "31A: Freeboots" (MARAUDS) before, so that was fun, and everybody loves TUNASALAD, right? I think I must have heard "Fluctuat nec mergitur" before, but I was sad that I could not come up with PARIS until I had at least two crosses. Hmph.

Overall, I enjoyed the cluing in this one, and there were a few VIVID entries without being too LURID. Fun theme, so... thumbs up.

- Horace


  1. 12:45
    I enjoyed this puzzle with the minor exceptions of TURNEDFULLO (26D: Went back to where it all began), PATTIE (25A: ___ Boyd, first wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton), and the fact that this song and video have now been in my head all day:

    1. Well, thanks. I guess. I had never heard of her before, but if there's any justice, Elle King will appear soon in a NYTX grid.

    2. Elle King is Rob Schneider of SNL fame...

    3. 's daughter.

      Whew… I thought for a second there that nothing made sense anymore.

    4. I can't think of Pattie Boyd anymore without thinking of this legacy:

    5. Oh. Oops. Meant to put that bit in there. Don't know how it slipped out.

  2. 10:54
    Thought this was a straight rebus, and therefore did not understand for some time how [KISS]MAN was a superhero. Never heard of him. Some serious super powers I'm sure. But instead, it was XMAN. Nice.

    I enjoyed how there were three pairs of theme answers using different meanings of the symbols X and O. So a hug and a kiss, a ten and a zero, a times and a circle. Nice. I too thought of "How VIVID." LATETAG continues our baseball week. I think I never want to hear any song that belongs to the genre of TWEE pop...

  3. 43:40
    I, too, thought this was a straight rebus at first, but it is certainly a fun theme. I also never liked the phrase "Kiss my grits," or its sitcom, too much. TURNEDFULLO is the only theme answer that I don't think works too well; no one says that. I thought the clue for ALDA was a bit long.