On Weird and Wacky Wednesday, you never know what you’re going to get, much like with a box of chocolates. Today, it’s idioms that have arisen out of boxing, and impressively, all five answers are 15-letters long. So, in a longstanding tradition here at HAFDTNYTCFCA (if you wonder what that means, you can look in Horace’s glossary post), I’m going to rank all five answers in the horribly subjective and biased way that is my opinion.
5. 56A: Hold back (PULLONESPUNCHES) - I’m not a fan of the usage of “one’s” in these 15-letter answers. I understand that “your” would make for more difficult fill, but still.
4. 22A: One engaged in friendly contention (SPARRINGPARTNER) - The clue is on the awkward side.
3. 17A: Engaged in foul play (HITBELOWTHEBELT) - just because it makes me wince.
2. 49A: Cry “Uncle!” (THROWINTHETOWEL) - very good, but just below
1. 36A: “Oh, now they’re really going to fight!” (THEGLOVESAREOFF).
And if you have a different opinion, well, bring it on! I’ll meet you in the ring! The metaphorical ring, of course. I’m not actually going to engage in fisticuffs. I probably don’t even know who you are, mostly. Although I’d certainly like to get to know you, my faceless readers. Perhaps over a drink at the ACPT?
But I digress.
|The Milkmaid HANGS in the Rijksmuseum. I’ll have to remember to ask Horace and Frannie if they’ve seen it in person|
The rest of the puzzle is marred somewhat by a reliance on proper names. I count nine of them, including brands and place names. HAAS and ANKE are the toughest of the gets. Guess I need to know my tennis and golf better. I did like the opera subset with ERITU (often clued without the full aria title - I just found out it’s from the opera Un Ballo in Maschera by Verdi) and ENTR.
TWOHIT feels a little ad hoc. I don’t imagine that we’re likely to slide into the territory of “three hit” or “four hit,” but it’s not an accomplishment that has merited its own phrase before this. Otherwise the puzzle was perfectly cromulent.