Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Wednesday, December 4, 2019, Evan Mahnken


Let's be grateful for the little things in life. Today, that was a happy dog greeting me when I got home. Perhaps he was interested in the food that was already on the table, but I'm not going to investigate that too closely.

Our puzzle today takes four classic examples of rhetorical game playing, interprets their names literally, but gives a clue that utilizes that form of game playing. Is that clear? Clear as mud.

Well, for example, 43A: "As you can tell from these few examples, Bings are better than maraschinos" (CHERRYPICKING) - here the clue is picking a type of cherry over another type, but acknowledges that by using only a few examples, the choice is of necessity biased. It's pretty clever, but I was left a little unmoved.

Perhaps because the final answer, 58A: "Expanding the bleachers isn't enough. We need to relocate the whole stadium" (MOVINGGOALPOSTS) seemed a little off. After all, it is true that the speaker is apparently suggesting that the goalposts be moved, but only as a part of the entire endeavor. It's too specific, somehow. Ah, well. Clearly I am guilty of a STRAWMANFALLACY.

Some good clues show up today. I liked 35D: Group concerned with things that are NSFW? (OSHA) - see, that's "not safe for work," usually appended to a video you wouldn't want your boss to see you watching at work, not the hazardous chemical you're busy pouring over your hands while watching that video. Not that I'm talking from any personal experience or anything.

23D: Equatorial Guinea is its least populous member, for short (OPEC) was an unexpected piece of trivia. Who knew?

Does anyone think that OPERA and OPRY is really a duplicate pair of answers?

- Colum


  1. 5:12
    I find the theme interesting, and I thought more, actually, about the OPRY/OPERA duplication than I did about the specificity of the goalpost thing. I liked SLIPPERYSLOPE best, possibly because I'm looking forward to trying "sledging" in the Austrian Alps next year. :)

    Also, I have more to say about this puzzle, but I have to wait until tomorrow's review is published.

  2. 7:25
    The Grand Ole OPRY has nothing to do with OPERA, as everyone here knows. This was a fine theme, but nothing spectacular. I had a slowdown in the NW at 20A Big displays at natural history museums, informally, and needed every cross because I was thinking of dioramas and had no ideas on how to make that informal. TREXES is a much better answer despite its crosswordese link and the fact that it's plural. Nice to see THERAVEN in there in its entirety.

    1. Well, of course the Grand Old Opry has nothing to do with opera. And yet, the name is directly derived from the other. In fact, the name came from an announcement that "For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on, we will present the 'Grand Ole Opry.'"

  3. OK, I'm probably missing something obvious, but how is ONEND an answer for "nonstop"? "On end"? "One ND"?

    I liked the theme. I think I'm willing to accept that moving the stadium means moving the goal posts, but I did want "move the goal posts" rather than "moving goal posts".