Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017, Ruth Bloomfield Margolin


Well known phrases that begin with a word starting with "re-" are reimagined as an email subject line, where the "re-" becomes "Re:", and the remaining phrase is reclued wackily. Huh. That was hard to explain!

It works for the most part. I don't quite get 69A: Re: ____ (sales agent's subject line ... with an attachment) (ADONLYFILE). Are we to interpret the subject line as reading "ad only," and the "file" signals the attachment? I'm not sure why the "only" is in there, unless we have to then assume there is no text in the body of the email.

My favorite is the last one, ACHESFORTHESTARS, in that the removal of "re-" causes the new word to be pronounced in a radically different way. Just now I realize that I misread the clue as "physicist" rather than "physician." I would have chosen "would-be astronaut" instead, as who is aching in this phrase? The doctor? That makes no sense. The celebrities? Well, then it would be "of" rather than "for".

Well, anyway, this is a lot of detail nitpicking. Overall, it works fine, just not exactly brilliantly. I really didn't laugh out loud at any of them, except a small chuckle for TREATISNOTANOPTION.

The remaining puzzle is reasonable. There are only two longer crossing answers, IWANNASEE which is strong and GMCTRUCKS which was nicely misdirected by the clue (78D: Sierras, e.g.).

The only spot that gave me trouble was in the middle NE. I had put in "blue" for 10A: XXX (CHIS). Then I entered bReed for 10D: Dalmatian, e.g. (CROAT). I fell for both traps!

1A: Matisse, e.g., stylistically (FAUVE) gets an A-. Nice bit of art history there.
Fave: MYRTLE (63D: Moaning Hogwarts ghost). I like a good Harry Potter reference.
Least fave: STPIERRE (26A: The first pope, to French speakers). I'm not sure how far afield we should be letting this sort of thing go. San Pietro? San Pedro? Sankt Pyotr?

- Colum

1 comment:

  1. TREATISNOTANOPTION is definitely the best. Hah!
    Interesting theme. The whole thing went rather quickly for a Sunday. I loved APERCUS.