Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017, Daniel Raymon


Today it's everyone's favorite - punny wordplay! A mundane truck becomes a FJORDEXPLORER (20A: One traveling around Scandinavia?), and simple hors d'oeuvres become a FINGERFEUD (40A: Argument that involves pointing?). The backformation of the "Soldiers in line formation?" (MILITARYQUEUE) took me a long time, because I didn't see that each transformation occurs by the addition of a "yew" sound. Ford to Fjord, Booty to Beauty, Food to Feud, and finally, Coup to Queue. Maybe it was the additional letter change that threw me. Whatever it was, I chuckled at the theme, and that's always a good thing.

Some nice bonus material in the downs: POLEMIC (10D: Controversial argument) is unusual, LIONTAMERS (29D: Dangerous circus jobs) is fun, despite the plural, MACUSER (42D: Apple consumer) has defined me for decades, and the full (ish) IMPEI (5D: Noted architect who turned 100 in 2017) was interesting. I had no idea he was that old!

1A: Female singer with a hit album in every decade since the 1960s (CHER) - B. Does that include the current decade?
Favorite: EDIT (17A: Pare a phrase?) Excellent clue for this old workhorse.
Least: PAUL (10A: House speaker Ryan). I should probably have chosen URB, but I can't resist being unnecessarily political.

Boy I really tried to make "alpe" work for 42A: France's Pic de Rochebrune, e.g. (MONT).

It took me a long time to figure out the middle, because I just could not remember that character's name! So for the fun theme and the good Wednesday challenge, I give it a thumbs up.

- Horace


  1. 5:24
    Zipped through this one by figuring out FJORDEXPLORER off of the FJ___. On the other hand, I also didn't get the theme until I'd finished the entire puzzle. In fact, only the 'y' sound is added. I like that the first two answers have the alteration in the first word and the second two in the second word. There are a tone of names in this puzzle: CHER, PAUL, ROMERO, ENO, CARTMAN, GWEN, SARA, EVAS (hate the plural there), EZIO, IMPEI, MARX, MATEO. You can add URAL and MAORI as well. Still, I enjoyed the puzzle over all.

    1. I got FJORDEXPLORER very quickly too, but I really felt like I was working with some kind of restrictor in place. Maybe it was that wine-pairing dinner we went to last night. I never should have ordered the cocktail to start it off. Or finished all of Amy's half-drunk glasses... Aww... who am I kidding? I'd do it all again.

  2. Silly Horace. Speed is irrelevant. You should always do them with a glass of something. Savor them. I absolutely loved this one. Isn't this all you want from an early week puzzle? Clever word play? Some smiles? All of the themers are terrific, but the best for me is BEAUTYCALL. I had a minor LOL at that. Agree about the nice trivia for IMPEI. CHER info is interesting too, although I found "hit album" a bit vague. IMHOT should have had a funnier clue, no? Should I know ROBYN?

  3. 18:16
    I thought that I solved this relatively fast considering the somewhat tricky theme. I got FJORDEXPLORER right away, too, but some of the others not so fast. Like ET59, my favorite theme answer was also BEAUTYCALL. I starred 47D Kind of wave (TIDAL) only because I'd rather have had Fiona referenced, but other than the III (23A Senior's grandson) (and similar answers), I really loved this puzzle, too. PORT should have been clued differently, but I suppose that ORAL was clued just fine. The BBC/BBQ cross was strange-looking. CARTMAN!