Monday, February 18, 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019, Andrea Carla Michaels and Leslie Rogers


A tidy theme today of two-word phrases, the first word of which can be paired with "cap" to make a new phrase, and the second of which can be likewise paired with "gown." I particularly enjoyed the first one, NIGHTNIGHT, because, well, it's clever and funny. WHITEWEDDING is fine and MUSHROOMBALL is a little weird. Are those a thing now? Instead of meatballs? I've never seen them - or heard of them - but then, I never really liked meatballs on my spaghetti even back when I did eat meatballs, so I've never really gone looking for a substitute.


Oh, maybe I'm just being OBNOXIOUS. I will say that I didn't get much sleep on the plane last night. And even if I had slept the entire time that the lights were out, that would still only have been, what, three hours? But the trick to beating jet lag (from the US to Europe anyway - according to me) is to stay up the entire day once you land. Until your normal bedtime, if possible, but at least until 9:00 or so. You'll probably wake up pretty early, but as long as it's light out, you should be good.

And yes, I know it's easier said than done. Right now, for instance, it's 1:45pm where I am, and I'm sitting in the sun with an espresso, writing on my laptop and even with the coffee I'm struggling to not just "rest my eyes" for a minute. Or two or three.

But enough about me. What about the rest of the puzzle!? PASEO (32A: Bullfighters' entrance march) is a little obscure for a Monday, and if new solvers aren't familiar with the old baseball name ALOU, or haven't paid any attention to the Harry Potter films, they might run into a little difficulty over on the West side, there.

I did very much enjoy the clue for TOE (57A: Stocking stuffer), I also liked the topicalness of "7D: $15/hour, maybe" (WAGE) and the green, "keeping it real"-ness of 52D: Low-tech hair dryer (TOWEL). But is it just me, or would you, too, argue that neither a slipper nor a sandal is a SHOE? Footwear, sure, but shoe, no.

- Horace


  1. 7:59
    Nice puzzle - elusive theme, until the reveal answer. Then, it was apparent that NIGHTNIGHT was diabolically clever!
    No - neither sandal or slipper is a SHOE!
    And who would have thought that MUSH...BALL is some sort of meatless meatball!
    I enjoyed this one, though, and solved in good time - no Netflix on in the background to distract me!
    Good idea about the jet lag to Europe thing...I may never go back again since mine was so severe! I tried napping for several hours the first afternoon...didn't really help. Have a good time! I am envious of that outdoor cafe!

  2. 5:54
    I did enjoy a meatball when I ate meat, but now have substituted with both tofu balls and eggplant-based balls, but never mushroom. I'll look for them, though. I had the AL____ of ALMOND, and it took me way too long to get the rest of that one, even though I have 24 almonds as part of my lunch each work day. I never heard the term PASEO, but the crosses were fine. I agree about conquering of the jet lag. Coming back this way is more difficult.

  3. 3:45
    Nice puzzle, nice theme, nice review, and nice the way you slipped in the reference to your being in Europe.

  4. I share at least moderate skepticism about SHOE. I thought about it early on, didn't write it in, but sort of reserved judgement in the sense that once the crosses pointed that way, I didn't fight it.

    As for marzipan being made of ALMOND, I learned that one when I combined my kitchen with someone else and inherited marzipan, almond paste, and for all I know a bunch of other variants (maybe that's hyperbole, but it sure felt like a lot of mystery ingredients). Turns out both can be used in almond cookies, which was a tasty way to consume ignored ingredients.