Thursday, January 23, 2020

Thursday, January 23, 2020, Barbara Lin


An amusing and complex theme today of common phrases or things getting a tacked on "eye" sound and clued to fit the newly constructed phrase. The "goodness" ranking is as follows:

4. GIMMEASINAI (Mideast diplomat's request, when itching to be challenged?)
Where does the challenge come in? Maybe I'm misinterpreting the original phrase as "Gimme a sign," which, when I do think of it or hear it, which isn't much, I think means something like "give me a little hope." Anybody care to challenge that?

3. THEGOODWIFI (Premier internet connection?)
I think this refers to a TV show called "The Good Wife." If not, I'm stumped by this one, too.

2. ROCKSTHEBOWTIE (Proudly dresses like Bill Nye or Pee-wee Herman?)
"Rocks the boat" is much more common to me than either of the previous two, and the two celebrities are also amusing.

1. FREEVERSAILLES (Liberate Louis XIV's palace?)
Clearly number one, because of the Louix XIV reference AND because it is the most absurdly elaborate addition of the "eye" sound.

There you have it.

I assume that 1A OCULAR (Concerning vision) and EYEEXAM (It may involve dilation) are bonus fill, and I applaud them both. If only TREXES were a word meaning "addition of a sound at the end of a phrase." Pity, that, but there is one more element down at 59A AYE (Vote heard on teh floor ... and at the end of 20-, 31-, 35- and 50-Across?)

My lacunae are brought out well by this grid. First we have the aforementioned thematic elements, and then there's SONORA (Estado south of Arizona) (I've really got to brush up on my Mexican geography), and who knew people were glamping in YURTs? Not me.

Interesting about LAILA Ali. I didn't know that either!

Best clue today "Something with an "x" factor?" ALGEBRA. Get me, liking a math clue! :)

OK, gotta run. See you tomorrow!

- Horace


  1. 7:12
    I think GIMMEASINAI is meant to bring to mind a diplomat negotiating a treaty in the Mideast, saying "I'll sign, but only if you throw in the Sinai peninsula," which would be looking for a challenge. It's a stretch. Maybe that's where the EMIRATE comes in.

  2. 18:27
    I, too, was most impressed with FREEVERSAILLES, for the reason mentioned by Horace, and it's well-known that I'm not a fan of foreign language clues. Also, yes, the ALGEBRA clue was excellent, if not straightforward, and I enjoy both Bill Nye and Pee-wee Herman. I had the most difficulty in the NW, but once OCULAR fell (I was thinking of an eye problem, misinterpreting the word "concerning" as meaning something about which to be worried) it filled right in. I've recently read about some glamping YURT experiences. They look nice, but why not just stay in a nice hotel and hike the area? I don't know; I guess I'd give it a try sometime.