Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017, Timothy Polin


I love this idea! Take three words which can be reimagined as '[verb]-me', and then apply those to an object or concept that might cry it out as an imperative. Thus, a VEGETABLEGARDEN might say "hoe me", or HOMEY. Better is that each one crosses its imagined order. I liked the third the best: can you imagine a LOSTOPPORTUNITY exclaiming "rue me!" (ROOMY)?

Also excellent that "homey" is not clued with the some reference to African American slang.

With a relative sparsity of theme material, the rest of the puzzle is more free to shine. Great crossing answers here include ACOLYTE, MEGAPHONE, and 35D: Dead reckoning? (ESTATETAX)! I was a little lost in the SE for a while until the light shone on that last one.

I'm also fond of a good SCHMEAR (as who is not?). Come to think of it, my father used to make celery sticks with cream cheese spread in the middle and sprinkled with PAPRIKA. I always loved those; they're a throwback to the 50s and 60s, it seems to me. Although I never ate them during those decades myself.

There are some fun clues here too: I enjoyed 14A: Good sign? (HALO) and 43A: Return fare? (RANSOM). 2D: It might be just a line or two (CAMEO) is nice. Oh! And how about 54D: Sewer of note (ROSS) - no question mark needed. Just a famous person who sewed the American flag.
A different NAOMI
On the downside are the two Greek letter answers (TAU and ETA), but very little made me say ICK overall.

1A: Rook or gull (SCAM) - B+. Not the greatest answer, but it took all the crossings to see where it was going.
Fave: BURP (56D: "Excuse you!" elicitor). I tip my hat.
Least fave: CIERA. I wish this answer would go away.

- Colum


  1. 45:03
    May I say that Colum's time is shocking. This was a slow slog along the eastern seaboard. Another jam happened when I tried coldCASES where OPENCASES belongs, but other than that, the slowness was caused just by not having things dawn on me. ACOLYTE, NEWDAY and SHIVS (since I'm in the business) were all nice Thursday answers, as was BURP (56D "Excuse you!" elicitor) for the clue more so than the answer. I must say, though, on the whole I prefer a rebus to this type of theme, although it is pretty clever.

  2. 11:38

    I didn't understand the theme before Frannie explained it to me, but I was able to work around it, as the long theme answers are all normal things. Now that I know the trick, it makes me laugh every time. "Rue me!" How absurd!

    I enjoyed this one. Tried "well off" for MONEYED, which is a fun adjective, and one that I wish could be more accurately applied to me.
    Also, I didn't know before this that "doggerel" specifically applied to verse. I thought it was just any old bad writing.
    Fun Thursday.