Monday, December 25, 2017

Monday, December 25, 2017, Lynn Lempel


Merry Christmas! How 'bout for a present I clock you one?

Kind of a funny theme today of different words for violent impacts. "Clock" and "belt" are, to me, verbs indicating a direct hit by a fist. "Paste" is slightly more vague, and I guess it's close to "bean." I'd be likely to put those both in the passive voice. "He got beaned," "I got pasted." And finally, "pelt" I think of as implying collective hits, as in: "They pelted us with rocks and garbage." Overall, though,  whatever your shading of understanding, you can't really argue with them all falling in nicely under HITPARADE. The entries they end are also perfectly fine. LUCYVANPELT (24D: *Dispenser of psychiatric advice to Charlie Brown) probably ought to be the most obscure, but Peanuts seems to have incredible staying power, and I doubt very many will be stuck too long there.


The fill is full of crosswordsy gifts. FIASCO (43A: Utter failure), MOXIE (56A: Spunk), FAUXPAS (43D: Social gaffe), and SUMMIT (46D: Peak) were all fun to unwrap. LAYETTE (9D: Purchase for a newborn) and RUSSE (20A: Charlotte ____ (rich dessert)) are both somewhat fancy, and is KAYO (35A: Clobber in the ring) a bit of bonus theme material?

1A: Adhering to old-fashioned modesty (PRIM) - A. Uncommon word, in amusing contrast to the theme.
Favorite: BLURB (29D: Book jacket write-up). Fun word. I looked it up just now, and find that it was coined in 1910 by Galett Burgess with his book "Are You a Bromide?" which, based solely on the title, I think I will try to find.
Least: FAT Hey, it's Christmas, why you gotta hate? I'll go back to counting CALORIEs tomorrow!

I can't decide whether I love or hate VETOER (40A: President saying "No!"). The clue is hilarious, so I guess I come down in favor. As I do for this puzzle in general. It played slightly harder for me than Mondays sometimes do, which is another good thing. Overall, thumbs up!

- Horace


  1. 7:27 (FWTE)
    CELSIUS/RUSSE and CHENEY/YEMEN crosses. The former is because I forgot how to spell CELSIUS, and RUCSE seemed fine for something I'd never heard of, and the latter is because I spelled CHENEY with an "A" without looking at the cross (I know how to spell YEMEN). Anyway, decent enough theme. I entered LUCYVANPELT off of the clue with no crosses; I can't imagine that there's anyone that doesn't know that one. ALOHA, and Merry Christmas.

  2. 5:10
    Apparently "Are You a Bromide?" not only coined the term "blurb", but the term "bromide" as well. Ah, the good old days (1906) when there were so few words that you could invent new ones left and right. That probably made it easier to construct crossword puzzles too. For example, the other day I really needed HERCO to be a word.

    Anyhow, this one with the short theme entries played very comfortably.

    1. You wouldn't attempt "Organization with a female CEO?" for HERCO?

      Anyway, liked this puzzle and it played normal to easy for me (7:01). Especially liked CILIA but I usually like the scientific answers.

  3. I think I ended up going with "Who the female lieut. should report issues to", but I think perhaps I like your clue better. Of course I would re-write the section to get a better word if I planned on submitting the puzzle.