Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018, Peter Gordon


I figured out, after it was all over, that on the first day of the 2018 ACPT, I sat across the aisle from Mr. Gordon for the morning's solving. I would have tipped my hat to him, had I known who he was, and had I been wearing a hat. Which I almost never do, honestly. So there's that.

The revealer today, innovatively split and placed in the extreme east and west zones, is TRIGGER / WARNING. I won't go on an extended rant about this newfangled business. I recognize that there are people who have gone through traumatic experiences for whom discussion of related topics will cause distress, a la PTSD. But when, as in the experience of one of my daughters, a college satire magazine feels it must publish trigger warnings without any sense of irony involved, the practice has conceivably gotten out of hand.

Um, so that was a little extended. My apologies.

But in the lovely little make-believe land of the crossword, here, the warning is just that the theme answers have actual firearms repurposed for their phrases. Which is amusing, because discussion of such items could in fact cause some people to feel triggered, given the current state of affairs in the ole U S of A.

RIDESSHOTGUN is not a great example of repurposing. I feel certain that the phrase originated because the non-driver of, say, a Western Union mail carriage, would in fact hold the firearm for the purpose of defense. And in fact, I am correct. The other two theme answers, however, holster their weapons more secretively. BAZOOKABUBBLEGUM in particular was lovely to see all the way down the center.

I liked much of the rest of the puzzle. Your ORDERER, HRS, DDR aside, there's the lovely ALLSPICE above ZOOTOPIA (a blast of a movie), symmetric to FIREPLUG and ROUSSEAU. And who doesn't like a good WANGLE now and again? Unfortunately, there were really no clues to EMUS us, though.

And scene.

- Colum


  1. Let's see, ANYway before ANYHOW slowed down the east.

    Liked CLASP I guess because we don't usually see it (and I suppose are unlikely to, what with the vowel shortage as bad as it is these days). Also a fan of RIPS which I guess isn't exactly misdirection but was not the first way I read the clue.

  2. 9:42
    I went through ALOT of BAZOOKABUBBLEGUM in my youth, and can't remember being terribly amused by any of the comics enclosed in the package, though I always read them. Much like, say, Family Circus or Beetle Bailey, both decidedly unamusing. I wasn't sure we were supposed to say FIREPLUG any longer (or ever). Decent puzzle. EPONYM, PITEOUS (tried PITiful first) and even LEAFLET were nice. Not much IRKS me with this one.

  3. 5:02

    I agree with your rant. The very words "trigger warning" are a trigger for me. :)

    Fun theme. Solid puzzle. UNITAS and SPIRO are a bit dated, but perhaps not for the average NYTX solver... I wonder what that average age is? Surely it must be creeping downward what with the Agards, Ezerskys, Faglianos, Steinbergs, and other young creators coming onto the scene.