Thursday, August 9, 2018

Thursday, August 9, 2018, Patrick Merrell


Oh, I loved this theme. I laughed at each answer. What great finds, phrases that start with the word "no," which are then reinterpreted as negative answers to questions expecting the answer "yes." Thus, the ludicrously convoluted question "Should you call that stopover between Liverpool and Belfast a peninsula?" merits the equally ludicrous answer NOMANISANISLAND, reparsed as "No (you idiot), Man is an island." Hah!

With only three long theme answers, the fill has plenty of room to shine. GARBANZO is always welcome, especially as one of our nicknames for the younger daughter is "Ceci," pronounced in the Italian way. 39D: Holder of dozens upon dozens (EGGCRATE) is a lovely example of the clever clue without a question-mark.

And how about 10A: Extra inches (FLAB)? Wow, that's out of left field. I also appreciated the very nice clue for 22A: What Alabama cheerleaders often request? (ANA), which made a less than exciting bit of crosswordese much more welcome than had it been clued as "Santa ___" or some such.

There are some bits I could niggle at, but who wants to do that? On such a lovely Thursday? It's not a perfect grid, but it's fun. And it has the word CUSP in it. And even if ICET and ICEMAN kind of duplicate each other, I liked the trivia of learning the man's given name.

So, in the end, I give it a happy thumbs up, and look forward to the rest of the turn.

- Colum


  1. 8:55
    Agreed. This was a fun one, and I, too, was tickled, as it were, by all three answers. I also found ANA, CAB ("Part of a pickup line?), and "Meet stick" (BATON) amusing. And what about "Fiddler on the reef? (CRAB). Hilarious!

  2. Oh my gosh I forgot I hadn't left a comment here because I was busy looking at RUXPIN on the internet. Fortunately, the crosses were fair, because I hadn't heard of it before.