Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday, July 15, 2018, Sam Ezersky and Byron Waldon


Hello everyone! It feels like it's been AMINOR age since I last wrote one of these. Before I can get into any discussion of the theme or other noteworthy of this Sunday effort, I think we have to answer the question on everybody's mind.

What the heck are JARTS?

So apparently, they're just lawn darts, and they were banned in the 1980s after one too many child related injury from the things. So kind of a down note. Fortunately, I knew that 77D: Lightsaber wielder could only be JEDI, so there was just a brief period of hesitation before putting that last letter in.
In my mind's eye, I was actually picturing the boss from the Jetsons
I'd term today's theme a workmanlike example of taking standard phrases and repurposing them in silly ways. In this puzzle, they're all reworked as compliments to various occupations. None of them made me laugh outright, but my favorite is probably 103A: Compliment to a vegetable gardener? (SMASHINGPUMPKINS), first because of the use of the word "smashing" to be a positive, and second because the band's name refers to doing the exact opposite of what a gardener wishes to accomplish.

Otherwise, the puzzle is chockablock full of nice longer answers. PASTICCIO is excellent, and I'd like some the next time I go to an Italian restaurant. Nobody doesn't like TIMELORDS. Clues I liked included 56A: Water cooler? (BRIG) and 97A: Long lines? (EPICPOEMS).

I'm not sure if Frannie will add her two cents in at this point, but if she doesn't, well, SONOFA...

- Colum

Fair game today with a fun theme in which we get phrases that work as compliments for specific categories of person who excel at their craft and as common items that have nothing to do with the craft in question. So a lawmaker gets a shout out for "OUTSTANDINGBILLS" and a charity organizer gets a "SOLIDFOUNDATION," maybe accompanied by a fist bump. : )  My favorite, for its naturalness, and one I might actually say to a champion speller, is "KILLERBEE." Ha! SWEETTALK, for a lecturer) is also good. I enjoyed SMASHINGPUMPKINS for a vegetable gardener, but I think the clue should have specified a *British* vegetable gardener.

In other areas, I liked SONOFA, MRSLATE (way to rock a name theme, creators of "The Flintstones"!), RIDESOUT, PODUNK, TRIDENT, NATTIER, and, of course, the shout out to New England's word for milkshake FRAPPE. Mmmmm, frappe...

I was surprised to see ASHE and ASHEN right next to each other in the grid. I entered "ashen" first, but took it out after I figured out that the "Athlete honored on Richmond's Monument Avenue" was Ashe, only to put it back in after a few more downs supported it.

Who knew there was AMSTEREO? Not me. Perhaps it will come as no surprise, then, that I recently asked Horace if there were still radio broadcasts. SAD.

The clue and answer "Got back at" (AVENGED) struck a chord. It may just be the movies and TV shows I've been watching recently, but it seems like many of them focus on one character's need to avenge some wrong done to him or her. There's always a scene where the person says, "I'll make X pay for what s/he did to my person." And then violence ensues. It troubles me. There, I said it. Also, isn't it time to let go of the old stereotype of HUSHING in libraries?

~ Frannie.


  1. Colum, I laughed out loud at JARTS! I'm not sure I ever played, but I always wished I could. Unfortunately, my parents were far too intelligent to let any enter our household.

  2. I agree with you about the AVENGED thing!

  3. 36:17
    My parents were not as intelligent as those of Horace, as we and all of the neighborhood kids played many JARTS rounds (even after the ban), with no injuries, I might add. I'm with Frannie on ASHE/ASHEN and SMASHINGPUMPKINS, and with Colum on TIMELORDS and BRIG. Fun Sunday solve.