Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020, Joel Fagliano


Apparently, this puzzle was a real twial for me. We can start with the fact that I entered OLDBAGOFTrIX, clearly missing the twick of the puzzle entirely. And ignoring the fact that it would be a weird bag of Hallowe'en candy that held just loose sugary breakfast cereal.

I couldn't see SLANG, even with SONIA in place. My mind wasn't even convinced that her name wasn't SOfIA for a while. I wanted imho instead of FWIW (29D: Texting equivalent of "This is just my opinion, but ..."), this time ignoring the fact that the word "opinion" is already in the clue, so it wouldn't be in the answer (even abbreviated). I put rATTY in for a while instead of the definite "huh?" of TATTY (41D: Ragged). I wanted "olio" for 9A: Hodgepodge (HASH), and I'm glad I was wrong.

Too twue. Whew!

But all that's okay. Once in a while, it's good and humbling to have a puzzle that WHUPS your behind (relatively speaking).

The theme is fun: take phrases whose last word begins with TR- and treat it as if you were a three-year-old who can't pronounce the letter R. In three of the four examples, the respelling with a W results in a completely different looking word. Thus "trees" becomes FAMILYTWEEZE. Cute. The final answer at 46A: CliffsNotes version of "Huckleberry Finn"? (HIGHSPEEDTWAIN) is so lovely that it doesn't matter that the word didn't change appearance.

MAJORDOMO and FACESWAP are nice answers in the fill, as is the complete SAMSPADE. Tough to have old clunkers like OLLA and STYE in the puzzle. And it probably would have been more elegant to avoid TWIT in the fill. But overall, the theme made the puzzle a definite tweet.

- Colum


  1. 12:37
    I don't know, I kind of liked TWIT, as it reminded me of the Monty Python sketch. I, too, tried olio before changing it to HASH, rATTY before TATTY (no good) and (unlike Colum) zebra where OKAPI belongs. FWIW, I did not love TOENAILS, or its clue, but did enjoy HERETICAL, WHUPS and even FSHARP, because, let's face it, 40D Musical neighbor of G could've gone either way. Decent theme, and I like the diagonal WWW in the NE. Ahhh, the Sacred COD....

  2. 11:12 (FWOE)

    I had troubles from the get-go, overthinking "Cape ____, landing place of the Mayflower." I thought, "Plymouth isn't really on Cape Cod yet, because you haven't crossed the canal..." Ah well. I fixed that eventually, but I never did fix OLDBAGOFTrIX, even though I, like Colum, wondered about the cereal being called a "candy." It's not really even that sweet!

    Anywayz, my troubles aside, I found this highly entertaining.