Sunday, January 27, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019, Randolph Ross


Today's theme answers pair a profession with a pun-like dis- or de- adjective. DISILLUSIONEDMAGICIAN (111A: Unemployed prestidigitator?), for example. Although I don't really agree that it works 100% because his state of employment does not mean that he is no longer able to perform illusions. It just means he isn't being paid for it right now. I suppose that's not the point, though, and, like Colum, I should try to be more upbeat. And yes, I did chuckle at that one, and at DEFILEDMANICURIST, which is cute. Is there a word for these things? They're not exactly Tom Swifties, but they are in the same family. I thought DISTRESSEDHAIRDRESSER was a little confusing, because there is such a thing as "distressed hair," but then you could also parse it as "dis-tressed," and make it kind of work for hair cutting. I also found DISPATCHEDTAILOR wanting, because how many tailors use patches? It could just be my ignorance of the profession, but if I went to get a suitcoat made, I would not expect (or want) it to come with elbow patches. And yes, I guess they could use patches to mend things, but would anyone who actually uses a tailor ever bring in anything to be patched? Oh, I don't know... perhaps I'm just out of my depth here.


OK, that ended up sounding pretty negative. But sometimes that's the way it is with me - especially on a Sunday. I don't think it's any great secret on this blog that I am frequently less happy with a Sunday puzzle than I am with a weekday grid. Maybe it's a mea CULPa situation, or maybe it's just that there's more room on a Sunday for obscurities like BRIGANTINE, NAHA, THIEU, UTAHANS, and even VERITY. And then there's the unwelcome-to-this-Boston-Red-Sox-fan THEBAMBINO. (OK, that one's actually perfectly fine, I'm just on a roll with the complaining so I thought I'd throw it in.)

I had a great deal of difficulty in the small area including 71A: Wall Street order (PUT), 47D: "Brave New World" drug (SOMA) (Incidentally, this is the name that my favorite local coffee shop gave to one of their espresso bean blends), and 54A: Remote figure: Abbr. (VOL). That last one I very much dislike. "Remote figure?" I don't think so. "Remote key," "remote button," "remote command," maybe. "Remote figure?" No.

OK, that's enough complaining from me. This is no way to start my week of reviews. I hope you enjoyed it.

- Horace

p.s. Now's probably not the time for me to ask "MISSME?" :)


  1. On the contrary, my dear Horace. This is the perfect way to start your week of reviews, because it can only go up from here, and you can end the week feeling good about your contributions to the blog. I kind of liked the theme, clearly more than you did. But the puzzle was sort of a slog.

  2. 33:07
    I enjoyed it just fine, and especially like to see ASIMOV right there at the top, where I'd put the man. Not all of the theme answers work perfectly, but that's OK. The puzzle was a fun morning distraction, albeit for too brief a time. I liked DERANGEDCATTLEMAN the best of the theme answers, but they were all decent. I never heard of this Bob BEAMON, and I needed all of the crosses for CULP and Geoffrey BEENE, but on the whole, I'd give it a thumbs up. I loved the clue for LASSIE (117A Iconic 1950s-'70s female TV role played by a male).

    1. You've never heard of two of the most famous Olympians of the twentieth century? Henie and Beamon!? SHEESH!