Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday, April 5, 2020, Jim Peredo


Hello all! Good to talk with you virtually, as there is virtually no other way for me to talk with you. I hope you haven't gone stir crazy, wherever you are. It's definitely a strange world out there right now. I am still working out of the house as essential personnel (nice they finally recognized it), but my wife and two daughters are trying to find things to do. Let's just say there's been a lot of baking involved.

Fortunately, one constant in this mixed-up time is the NYT xword! Today's brings a welcome modicum of humor to this early Spring Sunday. Mr. Peredo has found seven examples of standard phrases or quotations, and has clued them cleverly with two word phrases of the form XY, but reparsed as "statement Y about situation X."

Turns out it's sometimes not so easy to explain a theme. That was a lot of words where an example might do better.

Thus, TURNABOUTISFAIRPLAY is clued as "Just saying?" That in turn is now seen as "a saying about being just." I particularly liked GOAHEADWITHOUTME being a "Sentence telling you to run on," and THEAYESHAVEIT being a "comment about passing."

Some very nice things in the fill: I was amused by 5D: "4-Down-choo!" (SNEEZE), when 4D was AAH. That's a great way to make up for the less exciting word. GUSTAV Mahler is always welcome in my grid.
Wouldn't you be worried about hurting the ORCHID in this corsage?
Two entries today I often make mistakes on: 32D: Young weaned pig (SHOAT) - I want StOAT, but fortunately I already had TOES in place, and TT___ seemed highly unlikely for a long answer (if it were short, TTOP would be in play). The other is 84D: Mortimer ____, dummy of old radio and TV (SNERD). I really want SNEaD, the other old-timey personality from the world of golf. Again, I was saved by 101A: Trade jabs, which could only be SPAR.

My favorite pair of answers came right next to each other. 52D: Lower extremity affliction (SCIATICA) is great both for the association with Neurology, and for just the fun-ness of the word. Better is 53D: Secret target (BODYODOR). That's Secret, the deodorant brand, with a lovely hidden capital in the clue.

I will pick a nit with SCRUBBEDUP. When you clean your hands for surgery, you scrub in. I see that the other term Googles well, but I've never heard it used.

Stay healthy and safe out there!

- Colum


  1. 31:24
    I've never prepared for surgery, but I've always heard SCRUBBEDUP. I will, however, take Colum's word that "in" is the proper term. I often listen to the show in which SNERD appears alongside Bergen and McCarthy, so that wasn't a problem. Nor was anything else, really. Interesting trivia about HANOI. I wonder where it's split, as there doesn't seem to be any convenient place. STILETTOED is amusing. I tried ASHcAN where ASHPAN belongs, but REUP fixed that little problem. And yes, GUSTAV Mahler is always welcome.

  2. FWOE (misspelled CASTRO, sheesh)

    Took me awhile to figure out what was going on, but it was fun. HANOI is split thusly: Hà Nội (shameless stolen from Wikipedia to give me a chance to use the word "thusly." :-)

  3. Fun, tidy theme. All I know is that the doctor clothing is called "scrubs," so obviously, I'll take the good doctor's word for it. :)

  4. We have been trying to understand why “SAM” is the answer to “Busy Bee, for short”. Can someone hekp us make sense of this?

    1. I guess it might be referring to Samantha Bee, but I'm not really sure.