Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wednesday, July 25, 2018, Emily Carroll


The NYTX seems to be getting a little COCKY lately, and today it FLIPPEDTHEBIRD! Shocking! Three bird names (heron, egret, and crane) are each found backwards in three theme answers. It's a nice find in the single POLTERGEISTS (27A: Things that go bump in the night), and GOLDENARCHES (47A: Iconic logo since 1962) is perfectly cromulent. PIANOREHEARSAL is a little ad hoc, but it's elevated by the excellent clue - (20A: Grand preparations?). Nice one. And I'll give extra bonus points for all three birds being long-necked waders.


There are two side-by-side nine-letter answers in the NE and SW that are worth mentioning - CHEAPSHOT (11D: Unsporting comment) is my favorite, and it's neighbor, KILLSTIME (12D: Twiddles one's thumbs) is, necessarily, thanks to The Phantom Tollbooth, my least favorite. ("It's bad enough wasting time without killing it.") In the opposite corner we have ERRORFREE and TABLELAMP. Not scintillating, perhaps, but not bad.

I slowed myself down considerably up top by guessing "mwah" for 15A: Word that might accompany an air kiss (CIAO), and refusing to let it go until absolutely forced. It didn't help matters that OATH and ARTS both fit in with the error. Another tricky spot was SALUD (23A: Comment after a sneeze), which I have never heard used in that way.

41A: Genus that includes geniuses (HOMO) was cute, as was the pairing of 68A: Circus site (TENT) and 69A: Circus sight (SEAL), but do circuses really travel with SEALs still? Did they ever? Anyway, I wouldn't know, having perhaps never been to an animal-based circus in my life. I have really only seen the "people doing amazing stunts" kind of circus.

I liked POSEUR (8D: Big phony), and 40D: Body of eau (LAC) was ok, but even this Francophile thought that SEPTS (7 7 7, in France) was going a bit too far.

Still, overall, it was fine.

- Horace


  1. 10:11
    I, too, was shocked at the FLIPPEDTHEBIRD revealer. And I also tried mwAh at 15A, after first trying, and then removing, iago where SCAR goes at 5D. PRENUP's clue was nice (4D Union agreement, informally?), even with the unnecessary question mark. I can't recall ever seeing HUTT in a grid before, and did we need to be told "in 'Star Wars'" when referencing Jabba? Is there another of which I'm unaware? Anyway, one more day of being SOBERS, then I can emBRACE a CHEAPSHOT or two. CIAO.

  2. 6:19
    Iago of course was voiced by Gilbert Gottfried. Very different from Mr. Irons. I liked the theme a good deal. Some ANGUISH at seeing things like ISNOT and WELLI, but what are you going to do.

  3. I rather enjoyed ERRORFREE so I guess there is no accounting for taste. Or for what phrases people know: SALUD is quite familiar to me, but I guess that is because I have studied Spanish.

    Oh and yes I had mwAh, but suspected it almost immediately because I thought SCAR was a likely villian and erased it maybe when -wr- seemed like an unlikely pattern.