Thursday, September 12, 2019

Thursday, September 12, 2019, Grant Thackray


Any opportunity to get a quintet of Qs into a puzzle without resorting to "qat" or some other questionable fill is a win in my books. I love the idea of replacing a hard C/K sound with a Q and finding words and phrases that actually work. 59A: Smudge on a theater sign? (MARQUEEMARK) was the one that made me laugh out loud. I'm also quite fond of 37A: "Oh, I'm supposed to be in the line over there"? (THATSMYQUEUE), but I think it should be phrased as a querulous question.

I got the trick (trique?) quickly when I hit 4D (BARBQS). How about the clue at 15A: What Elvis Aaron Presley's middle name is spelled with on his birth certificate (ONEA)? That's a lot of words to get around using a "high draft status" old-style clue. Meanwhile, we all can agree that the MEALIEST apple is the Red Delicious. Yuck.

After yesterday's rant about "good fats," I'm faced with 7D: Butter, in a dieter's eyes (BADFAT). Humph. Perhaps I'll just have to accept the usage. In the meantime, butter is just too useful to give up. Which reminds me of the only example I could think of for a Q-replacement, which is "parquet" for "Parkay." But that was as far as I got.

My favorite pair of clues came at 32A: Org. that might pocket your checks (IRS) and 33A: Org. that might check your pockets (TSA). You can forgive a lot of stuff when the clues are that much fun. Also very good is 34D: Flutter one's eyelids, say (STIR). Not a flirtatious move, it turns out. Just waking up.

In any case, this was a perfectly good Thursday. Not the greatest I've ever come across, but fun nonetheless. I'm certainly not quitting yet.

- Colum

P.S. I guess that rant about good fats was entirely in my head. I've got to learn to separate my blogs from my internal monologues...

1 comment:

  1. 12:34
    Odd shape to the puzzle, too. Seems to be 16x15. All of the theme answers were pretty good. I love BOOTLIQUOR, but a rodeo could be the only place that one could get away with that nowadays. OUTTAKES is a fine answer, but they are rarely worth watching, IMHO. Who rants about good fat?