Monday, May 6, 2019

Monday, May 6, 2019, Peter Gordon


We here at HAFDTNYTCPFCA enjoy when the English language is shown in all of its absurdity. How often in our mother tongue accidents of etymology leave non-native speakers spluttering. "Though, enough, thought?!" Today, we have three EYE / RHYMES that end in -anger. Although, to be fair to English, one of our examples is borrowed from France. In any case, TEXASRANGER, CLOTHESHANGER, and PRETAMANGER are excellent entries, and I enjoyed the theme.

With only three long theme answers, the rest of the puzzle is wide open for some very nice fill. It's the standard question - how much is extra theme worth it? It might be glittering and exciting to put so many theme answers in, but the cost can be painful at times. On the other hand, some will complain at the lack of theme today, but I'll put myself in the column of enjoying all that nice stuff.

1D: Works like "Animal Farm" and "Gulliver's Travels" (SATIRES) got me off on just the right foot. To add EPIDEMIC and ATTAGIRL (the full phrase is nice to see) is lovely. There are a lot of nice crunchy Scrabble tiles with a couple of Xs, a Z, two Ks and so on.

I did wonder part of the way through where Mr. Gordon's mind might be, what with TIT, PATOOT, NETHER, and AFFAIRS? WHEW, say I. Enough with the SAX already.

Anyway, there are definitely some less exciting areas (relying on former Indiana governor Evan BAYH is a stretch), but over all I'd call myself an ADMIRER.

- Colum


  1. 6:36 (paper)

    The inclusion of the French diminishes this for me, because "ranger" and "manger" are both words in both languages, and are pronounced identically within the same language. There are plenty of examples that are contained entirely within English. To the three you gave could be added "bough" and "through," and there are many, many others.

    It might be nice, also, to have a puzzle where the words weren't sight rhymes, but were actually pronounced the same way, like "bough" and "bow." But then, with that one, you could be confused by the similarity between "bow" and "beau," but then we're back to French! :)

  2. 8:54
    My first thought, was "whoa" - "bough" doesn't rhyme with "bow" out here on the West Coast! But, of course, it does - sometimes! Maybe that's a theme - rhyming words that change up - "The elf took a bow while standing on the oak bough" and "the beau came to the prom wearing a bow tie"!
    For my language dollars, I like a bit of a twist - say "epidemic" and "exotic" somehow paired. Maybe this is why I am not a puzzle constructor.
    I have never seen a Pret-a-Manger near where I live...but it was getable since I saw that old movie, Pret-a-Porter! All in all, a nice romp for a Monday puzzle. Thanks

  3. 6:54
    Took me a bit longer than a typical Monday. I enjoyed seeing MERCUTIO in there, and ARARAT, STYX and ARK form a mini-theme. I'd never have figured out the theme were it not for the revealer. Could GAM be part of Colum's bawdy list up there?