Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tuesday, May 29, 2018, John Lieb


One of today's theme answers can also describe the theme entries: ODDDUCKS, which, according to the revealer at 66A are "Certain spears ... or a curious spelling feature of 1-, 20-, 26-, 45-, and 53-Across?" (TRIDENTS). I get the spear part, but was a bit perplexed when trying to figure out how it applied to theme answers, in each of which one letter appears three times in a row. It crossed my mind that all the repeated letters could be "dentals" in the phonetic alphabet sense, but I don't think vowels (FREEEMAIL) are ever dentals, so, that's probably not it. Anyone? My personal confusion not withstanding, I liked the super weird looking triumvirates. The aforementioned ODDDUCKS is my favorite, but I also like SUEANNNIVENS and DRESSSIZE.

The grid includes some possible themish also rans - additional fill with double or repeated letters - like NOOGIE, ALANALDA, LATTEART, and ANDEAN.

Imagine with what elan I espied 33D: Jai __ (ALAI)! When was the last time we saw that old chestnut? (September 10, 2017 - thanks XWord Info!)


Are there clues that could use a DUOver? Sure, maybe a few, like COL, SYST, PSAS, IAM, MSN, and SHUNT (I really don't like that word!) but any puzzle that includes PALMEDOR, DRAB, ZEST, SAUNA, and SONATINA BINGES along with those wacky triple-letter theme answers is okay with MESAS.



  1. Ha! The tripled letters are D, E, N, T, and S, respectively, in the 5 theme answers. Hence TRIDENTS.

    I'll grudgingly accept MSN as an answer, but clued as if it and aol are the entire internet? I mean, that's sort of going out of your way to be dated.

    MIMI and BOHEMIA made a nice pair (both clued in a way adjacent, but not quite to, the Puccini opera).

  2. 9:03
    Thanks Mr. Kingdon for that TRIDENTS explanation. I never look too closely at the puzzle for theme unraveling (but I should). I, for one, never mind a few three-letter answers in an early week puzzle, especially when the theme is pretty good, like this one. I mean, PITTTHEELDER? When are we ever going to see that again in a grid? And who doesn't love DHARMA, or a NOOGIE?

    1. Good point about PITTHEELDER. That is pretty choice (and not really dependent on obscure knowledge, although I suppose the obscure knowledge wouldn't hurt).

  3. 5:03, but with two silly errors. See, I put LEIA's name in as LEah (my niece) and didn't look back. I like the theme a whole bunch.

    1. One would think that a reasonable person would be more familiar with Princess Leia than one's niece.