Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Jeffrey Wechsler


Sometimes, no matter how positive you want to be, you are faced with a bit of ALGA at 1 Across.

Fortunately, there is much left in the puzzle after you put 1A in. Today, Mr. Wechsler has provided us with five examples of phrases with a word in them with the "OU" diphthong. Dropping the O has created a new set of silly phrases. My favorite is 37A: TV bleep? (CURSECORRECTION). How à propos. How, shall we say, apt? I was also amused by CURTREPORTERS.

PALACECUP is not as clever, nor is PROPERNUN (how many nuns are there who are improper, outside of Maria from The Sound of Music? And maybe Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act? Both of whom are hardly actual nuns?). Still, the concept is very nice, and I liked the collection overall, especially without an otherwise unneeded revealer.

We just saw a CAPER movie this past weekend, and it was delightful froth, featuring several actresses I enjoy watching. I wanted "heist" there, which held me up momentarily. Probably my favorite clue and answer today came at 29A: Spring sound (BOING). Yes, precisely. The other excellent one came at 66A: What teens do that most twentysomethings don't (GROW).

So, looking back over this slim volume of my critique, I wonder if I'd stopped after the first line, would anything have been missed? Only you can tell, oh my handful of faithful readers, my unHORDElike following.

- Colum


  1. 12:18
    I liked FURONTHEFLOOR all right. Couldn't see HORDE as "Swarm" for a while, and kept trying to insist on rentSACAR, but the word "livery" should have indicated "hires" to me, I think. Overall, I liked it fine.

  2. Well I liked PROPERNUN but I'm not sure I can give any reason other than just everyone likes nuns. Or so, I suppose, is the idea behind Sister Act, Sound of Music, etc.

    Oddly enough I also had trouble with HIRESACAR but for me it was HIRESACAb which took a while to dislodge.

    A rather nice puzzle. Pretty much lacking in the usual trite answers (I guess the closest is ALGA, SSN, and AFAR). I especially liked the clue for GROW. Clever, that one.

  3. 16:27
    Here's the order:
    I like nuns OK; I just think they're a bit off in their thinking. I tried pasS off of the final "S" for 44A Dangerous things to do at busy intersections (UEYS). Some nice things in this one include GOODFAIRY, UVULA (just kidding...gross), LAMES (even though it's plural), Cuba LIBRE (though I'm sure I wouldn't like one of those too much since it appears to just be a rum & Coke) and the TOXIC EBOLA. Also, EBERT makes an appearance, as does PAPUA New Guinea (a place Sue and I should visit some time) and ASS.