Sunday, January 27, 2019

Monday, January 28, 2019, Thomas Van Geel

5:19 (F.W.O.E.)

I loved seeing FREECYCLING (17A: Giving away unwanted items rather than trashing them) in the grid today. Frannie and I are big freecyclers, having both given and gotten items this way, and I'm glad it's getting its NYTX debut. Hopefully, more people will consider it. And speaking of things "green," you wanna know another alternative to a paper clip? One of these STAPLE-less staplers. I use one every day at work. True story.

TETRA - What? That was yesterday's clue?

The theme, I thought, was a little weird. Well, one of the theme answers, anyway. I get "free kick" and "drop kick," but what is a "side kick?" Is it just that thing in karate where you kick out to the side? If so, that seems a little weak. I also think the term SIDEHUSTLE itself is a little bit of an outlier... but then, there are probably plenty who have never heard of FREECYCLING, so I guess I'd better watch my step.

[** Ok, it's me again, writing much later. I now realize that they are maybe not talking about a real kick, but a sidekick like in a movie, or a sit-com. Duh... sorry about the rant. It's a perfectly cromulent entry. I was just trying to make it fit perfectly with the other physical kicks.**]

OLIVETTI (40D: Classic typewriter brand) went right in for this old man, but MANAGERS (41D: Bosses) took quite a few crosses, which is amusing, given that my job description includes the word "manager."

I liked the mention of Holden Caulfield in the clue for NARRATOR (I tried to fit in "main character"), and I enjoy any Latin clue, so INESSE (49D: Existing: Lat.) was fun too. My error came at 8-Down. I don't know the Greek alphabet by heart, but I know it's similar to ours, so when I saw 8D: Second letter after upsilon (CHI), I put in pHI, thinking P was close to U... oh well. NIpHE ought to be a word, oughtn't it?

Congratulations to Mr. Van Geel on his debut today.

- Horace


  1. 3:28
    I like that all three theme answers are so modern.

  2. 5:48
    I'm a fan of FREECYCLING, also; I belong to the Charlton Freecycle group and have used it to get rid of ju... I mean, good stuff. DROPTHEMIC instead of "mic drop" is OK, given the clue construction. And yes, OLIVETTI went right in for me, too, having used at least one in my youth. I didn't love KNEEBONE, but kneecap wouldn't fit. A FINE debut.

  3. The theme would have been better if the themers were three kinds of kicks, like sidekick, drop kick, and .... well I'm having trouble thinking of a two word phrase ending in kick where kick means "hobby". Maybe "high kick"? That's from dancing at least.

    Anyway, enough nitpicking, I enjoyed this one. Favorite answer? Maybe ANKLE although I suppose there is always RABE just because it is a plant word.