Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017, Sam Trabucco

Silent Treatment

This one was quite a substantial puzzle - perhaps as a treat for all those crossword solving fathers out there. Not being a father myself, and thus unable to relax with my feet up today, I found it a trifle long, but not unenjoyable.

Our theme answers today feature a silent letter within a well-known phrase that, when ignored, makes the answer match the clue. The same letter, in the downs, performs its usual task of indicating a word's history while remaining silent. I thought 98A was the funniest because the clue was so PC while also expressing pushy pants behavior. "Excuse me, but my partner's and my kids go first!" (AFTERHOURS). GIVESADAMN (Donates shelter to some beavers?) at 41A was also kinda funny. In reviewing all the theme answers, I realize now that I'm not sure what a TAROTSPREAD is. Is that a real thing? Like a card reading?

The silent letter theme got me thinking about the excellent old "Silent E" song by Tom Lehrer. I found it, but I also found this "Easy Reader" video from The Electric Company. I recommend it.

Anywhoo, I enjoyed a couple of the 'expression' clues including 67A. "What nerve!" (THEIDEA) and 82D. "Oh, boohoo!" (GETOVERIT). It was also nice to learn about LOQUAT (Asian plumlike fruit), TYGA (Popular rapper with a feline-sounding name), and ANDONE (Single shot awarded for being fouled while scoring, in basketball lingo).

Huygens will probably like 74D. Some Mardi Gras wear (BEADS).

In the BUTS department, I'm not too sure about AQUACAR at 3 down (Amphibious auto). Seems like a made up word. And, at the risk of being too POINTY, I will mention another awkward plural SAYSOS (13D. Powers to decide). BLEH.



  1. 41:00
    One makes poi from taro root. Hasn't Frannie yet experienced a luau? I suppose if one hasn't, one wouldn't necessarily know that trivia. I wouldn't want a whole spread made from it, regardless. This puzzle was right in the sweet spot for me, time-wise. I've been to Mardi Gras, and may have some BEADS somewhere from the experience. Never heard of a LOQUAT. How many ways can we clue IAGO? Quite a number, evidently, and I found today's to be a bit verbose for my liking.

    1. I know, or can imagine, what a taro spread is - I probably wouldn't want one either - but I'm not sure what a TAROTSPREAD is - with the silent T. All the other theme answers were common expressions with their silent letters in place, weren't they?

    2. I suppose. Don't tarot card readers (or "charlatans") sometimes lay out a few cards and make their readings coincide with the cards' orders? Also, aren't some cards sometimes on the side of, or over, others? I've never received a tarot reading, and never will, but I've seen a few in movies and on TV. Seems silly, for obvious reasons.