Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sunday, December 29, 2019, Andrew Chaikin


Greetings! Here we are at the end of another year, listening to talk of New Year's Resolutions. Today's puzzle contains seven ideas for improvement that could be seen, I wager, on almost anyone's list, but clued in an NYTX-appropriate PUNNY way:

CLEANOUTTHEHOUSE (Casino gambler's resolution?)

SEEFRIENDSMOREOFTEN (Sitcom lover's resolution?)

GROWMYNESTEGG (Hen's resolution?)

GIVEUPOLDHABITS (Nun's resolution?)

WATCHWHATIEAT (Stalking tiger's resolution?)

PLANAPERFECTGETAWAY (Bank robber's resolution?)

ORGANIZEMYOFFICE (Union activist's resolution?)

Pretty solid set. The only clue that seems overly forced is the tiger one, but the resolution itself hits home with me, as I've put on between 5-10 pounds, I think, since Thanksgiving! And speaking of hitting close to home, the last one resonates, too, as my employer is dealing with a union strike at the moment. But I understand it's gone to a third-party arbitrator, so I'm hoping things will work out for the best.

The grid contains a lot of names I didn't know: MARCI Klein, Rutger HAUER, SHERRI Shepherd, Beverly CLEARY and her character RAMONA, and there are other names that might not be familiar to other solvers, like RAMI Malek, ESAI Morales, ERTE [Romain de Tirtoff - his pseudonym is from the French pronunciation of his initials "R.T."], LAILA Ali, LAURIE Metcalf, and ALY Raisman. Heck, people might not even know GRACIEALLEN (Comic foil of early TV), but I smiled to see her full name in there.

Many other entries made me smile this morning too, like WINETASTERS (They appreciate a nice bouquet), LAKEVIEW (Feature of many a summer camp cabin), and BEAUTYICON (Marilyn Monroe or Beyoncé). I enjoyed the two Britishisms SNOG (French, say, to a Brit) and GOWALKIES (Get lost or stolen, in British lingo), and the strangely appealing clue for LEI (Floral wreath by a coral reef).

And now we come to the end of the review, where you, the reader, might expect to hear me talk of my own resolutions. I hate to disappoint you, but I gave up making resolutions many years ago. One day is as good as another for starting something new, and why wait until the end of the year to start improving yourself. ... or is it the beginning of the year? What's the difference, really? It's all just time, isn't it? I've recently been thinking that labelling things - naming things - is the start of all conflict. But perhaps that's too MEDITATIVE for a light-hearted blog about a puzzle... Anyway, I don't have any resolutions, and if Frannie tells you otherwise, I'll DENYIT.

- Horace

1 comment:

  1. 41:13 (FWOE)
    I was disappointed to not get the congratulatory pencil upon finishing the puzzle, but even if I'd had time to go over the thing, I wouldn't have known where my error was. It turns out that the cross of SHERRI/ERTE, where I tried an "a," was the culprit. Who knew about the LALAW thing? I got LIT right away for the downs and confidently entered elLen in there. I agree with Horace that the stalking tiger resolution was the most forced, but they were all fine and quite amusing. I also don't make resolutions for the same reasons set forth above: I know what needs fixing or what I'd like to do day-by-day and take the appropriate action(s). SNOG didn't fool me for a second, but I needed a few crosses for GOWALKIES. Nice to see TAKEI in there, as well as BOOB. And I, too, enjoyed seeing the full GRACIEALLEN. I listen to her show fairly often on the SIRIUS.