Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018, Freddie Cheng


Appropriate, maybe, that the first clue today should mention tea (1A: Indian state that exports tea (ASSAM)), because ... well, you know why. Although the tea dumped in 1773 by the Sons of Liberty was from China, not India. Still, ...

Also appropriate for the date is today's revealer, HAPPYFOURTH. The other four (also appropriate) theme answers each provide, in their last word, the fourth in a series. Numbers being the fourth book in the Bible, Time being the fourth dimension, Delta the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet, and Mars the fourth planet from our Sun. Pleasing. The only thing I find odd about it is the "Annual greeting" part. When did that start? I don't say it isn't true, because earlier today, as Frannie and I walked along the beach at low tide, people actually said this to us when passing. "Happy Fourth." Is this a new thing? I don't really remember it from my youth. But then, there are many such things.

In addition to the theme, I liked much in the fill today: PSHAW (22A: "Oh, hogwash!") and OODLES (44A: Gobs) are excellent. LOPED (55A: Ran gracefully), and ALBEIT (32A: Notwithstanding) are enjoyably unusual. CREAM clued as "Destroy, as an opponent" got a chuckle. And how many of you tried to make a three-letter abbreviation for "size" when confronted with 59A: Small, medium or large: Abbr. (ADJ)? I sure did.

The two "father/son" (LENNON/LEE) clues were nice, and "19A: Blue expanse" could have been sky or SEA, so that caused a little slowdown. Also slowing me down (this seemed tough for a Wednesday) was spelling SABER with an "re" instead of an "er." And cluing COB with a male swan instead of a Fourth of July staple was shocking!

ISPY lots to like today. I hope you're having a pleasant holiday.

- Horace


  1. 5:59
    Happy Fourth! See? I said it. You left out BANGUPJOB, my favorite answer in the puzzle today.

  2. 12:59
    Colum and I both have a something-59 for times. I tried Sky first instead of SEA and it did, indeed, slow me down. Nice theme, and as Horace mentions, APT. Did I mention that NUMBERS was one of my least favorite books in the Bible? And Sue and I were just on a MONORAIL during a recent trip to the Orlando area. I liked the clue for SUSHIROLL (10D Food item ordered at a bar), because, like all of you, I was thinking "pickled egg" or "stuffed pepper." DONTDOIT should have been clued with The Band, and no one likes the plural OKRAS. But all told, this was an enjoyable solve with a few surprises. ALEVE was my first entry and, oddly, the "M" of MONORAIL was my final letter. I'd never heard of this GORAN fellow.

  3. It's a good thing you mentioned the tea, or I'd have said this puzzle should have run on Star Wars Day.

    ALBEIT was a fave of mine. I too was slowed down by Sky in place of SEA and I did wonder about SABER/SABre, although I happened to guess correctly.


    1. Oh, except the Star Wars Day version would need to be "may the fourth" or a variation thereof.