Sunday, June 7, 2020

Sunday, June 7, 2020, Andy Kravis


Hey everyone! Did you all see the article about the individual who came out of a seventy-five day silent retreat to ask "Did I miss anything?" Turns out he had, in case you were likewise removed from any news source other than this blog. I am amused to think of a person whose only connection with the internet and the outside world was the idle musings of myself and my two esteemed co-bloggers.

So let's get to it, shall we?

Today's theme is encapsulated nicely by the puzzle's title: we get a selection of answers where SUR- has been added to the beginning of standard phrases. There's a beautiful level of consistency in these answers. All six graftings result in new words to start their phrases with a change in spelling from the original word, and all six maintain the pronunciation of the original word inside the new one.

Thus, "jury verdict" becomes SURGERYVERDICT. The vowel sounds haven't changed (although the syllabic emphasis is slightly different). Likewise, "furballs" becomes SURFERBALLS.

I think it's a well constructed set of theme answers. I did not find any of the clues or answers to be laugh out loud funny, which is typically my last piece of critique necessary to elevate a theme to its highest level.
MILK or cream?
On the other hand, with only six theme answers, the rest of the grid has a chance to shine, and here is where Mr. Kravis has lifted the bar. There are a ton of fun answers, good clues, and very little in the way of "meh" answers, as Frannie has said.

64D: Entrance (BEWITCH) - I was sure the word was referring to a doorway or the act of going through said doorway. But the emphasis here was on the second syllable, to good effect.

73D: Water heater? (SQUIRTGUN) - perfect.

60A: One who's unfaithful? (ATHEIST). Hah!

WOWIE and the rhyming MAUI made me chuckle. Although I had zOWIE briefly, which would have been more fun.

17D: "Don't worry, that only looked painful!" (IMFINE).

There's a lot more, but these were the highlights. A fun Sunday puzzle, and well worth the time.

- Colum


  1. 22:45
    I agree that the theme answers, as well as the puzzle in general, were quite well-done and enjoyable. It ran slightly fast for my taste for a Sunday, but that's a small matter, and I had some projects I was in the middle of anyway, so I had a use for the missing eight minutes. I liked the crossing of ATHEIST and SHIITE, and the pairing of 109A Nit Pick? and 111A Knit pick? (DELOUSE/NEEDLE). I was in the service, though, and never met any SURLYMAJORS. By the time they've achieved that rank (O-4 in the USAF), people have usually been around for a while and are pretty calm. I suppose that HULA and MAUI could be sister answers.

  2. I assume MAUI and WOWIE are a reference to the marjuana strain (without being so crude aa to be explicit).

    But some daya I aspire to have my only connection to the outside world being to solve the crossword, read this blog, look at my leaderboard for the mini, and text with friends about the puzzle. All od those are things I do on a pretty regular basis, so I am well on my way to living the dream.

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