Thursday, July 5, 2018

Thursday, July 5, 2018, Randolph Ross


I love the spin that the N.Y.T. is putting on the national celebration this week. On Tuesday, we got the ethnic melting pot of answers, then on Independence Day, we got four fourths not specifically related to America (well, except for the Bible, I guess...), and today we get rebuses of American governmental agencies that WIRETAP. LOL.


Bonus thematic fill might include OILMAN, MABELL, THEMOST, MARCIACLARK (America at its best, the O.J. trial), SNEERY, YANK, WMD, and TRASH.

On the un-American side we've got BELGIAN, the Middle-Eastern duo of ARABIA, and ALIBABA, KENYA, HORS, CARTA, BAYO[FBI]SCAY, and AMORE. Certainly not American, that last.

On the bright side, we see ALBEIT for the second day in a row. Strange. And I enjoyed the clues for LIL (26A: Wee wee?) (Took a while!), ILLLIVE (12D: "It doesn't hurt that bad"), DEER (58A: A couple of bucks?), AMEN (52D: Grace period?) (Nice), DEN (35D: Animal house), and even ANS (59A: T or F, frequently: Abbr.). It took me forever to understand ONEALL (19A: Low draw) as a low-scoring tie game. I should have known better during World Cup season!

I love AMY (23D: Frank Loesser's "Once in Love With ____"), but my favorite clue today was 31A: This pulls a bit (REIN). That's really very good.

Lively, entertaining clues and a rebus. Pretty much a perfect Thursday.

- Horace


  1. 30:24
    Yes, excellent Thursday; just what we'd want in a puzzle. It took me a while to get the theme down, though. And it probably shouldn't have, because I got GARDENLE, knowing that could not be correct, so I took out the "LE," but then the crosses worked for those, so back in they went. Well, it slowly came in. One of the nicest ones was MA[DEA]SCENE, although everyone loves ENUN[CIA]TION. BTW, I wanted GARDE[Nto]ur very badly, but alas, we needed a secret organization (the Netherlands Trade Office isn't one), so that was my next-to-the-last themer. The final one was BAYO[FBI]SCAY, which I got with the help of its cross DATEO[FBI]RTH, where I tried hAircolor first, with disastrous results. NODULAR was nicely clued, but I've never heard the term GLADEYE before. And I guess that ARABIA is technically correct, but isn't it always referred to as the "Arabian Peninsula?" (Well, I Googled it now, and ARABIA is a simplification, so fine.) I also loved another theme cross: BEA[NSA]LAD. The other two were OK. RANDD didn't fool me for long. I tried "trial" first, but the crosses fixed that up in short order.

  2. 20:53
    Fine rebus, but I wouldn't say this is a great Thursday puzzle. It's missing something to make the rebus shine, a revealer that would explain why the different government agencies are in boxes. WIRETAP didn't do it. Also, I am dead against SNEERY, which nobody has ever said, and I think 30A: Ain't right? (ARE) is dead on arrival. The right form of "ain't" is "isn't", while the inverse of "ain't" is "are".

    Anyway, maybe it's just sour grapes because it took so long to figure out that silly NW corner.

    1. Well, ok. Sure, it's not actually perfect. And yeah... I didn't notice that ARE/Ain't situation. That seems outright wrong.