Monday, July 20, 2020

Monday, July 20, 2021, Alex Eaton-Salners


Mr. Eaton-Salners has us covered right to left and front to back! All four theme phrases are RIGHTONTHEMONEY, as far as I'm concerned. They all begin with the direction, followed by a preposition and a noun phrase beginning with "the." That's consistency. And it ends with the beautiful BACKTOTHEFUTURE, one of the most perfect movies of all time. I suppose on rewatching in the days of #BLM and #MeToo, there are probably some cringe-inducing moments, but the spirit is in the right place, and it's filled with such memorable moments.

Also, how can anyone complain when your Monday puzzle starts off your whole week with 1A: Ogden who wrote "Farewell, you old rhinoceros, / I'll stare at something less prepoceros" (NASH)? If that doesn't induce some HAHAS, you're an old stick in the mud.
I lost some time misconceiving the clue for 5A as the clue for 14A, so ASIA went where AMIE was supposed to go. But it was quickly resolved (and re-solved) by entering other crosses. Another major difficulty came with LEHI, an answer I'm sure the constructor would have preferred to avoid on an early-week puzzle, but it has to cross two theme answers. What else can solve L_H_?

And my final difficulty today came by misreading the clue at 26A: Girl's name that sounds like two letters of the alphabet (EVIE) to include the word "first" before "two letters." "Abie?" I thought to myself. And even entered. It's not a girl's name that I've ever come across, but I convinced myself for a while.

All of that to explain why I wasn't under 4 minutes today.

Fun answers included IWASHAD and DISHY.

And with that, I'll SIGNOFF.

- Colum


  1. 4:16

    All of your difficulties were enough to let me squeak by for a two-second advantage! :)

    An interesting theme that I don't remember seeing. And speaking of not seeing, I'm glad I never even read the clue for LEHI, because it would not have helped me. Maybe it's not always good to focus on the Downs.

    Amusingly, REFOCUS took this photographer quite a long time to get.

  2. 6:28
    I'd have tried "Ellie" where EVIE goes if not for the letter count, and I seem to remember trying another name there, but it is not coming to me for some reason. Ah, maybe it was "Emmy." Regardless, it didn't work, so I needed the crosses for that one. Decent theme. I don't remember BACKTOTHEFUTURE as a "perfect" movie; maybe I should re-watch it. For a quick second, I was thinking that at least HBOMB is better than the f-bomb, however I suppose the former would cause a flurry of the latter, not to mention various other problems, so I'll stick with tolerating the f-bomb. LEHI was unknown to me, but I've only read through the Old Testament once, and that tidbit, INTRUTH, didn't stick with me. I thought that IWASHAD and FLUSHOT both looked strange in the grid. NARWHAL, of course, brings to mind the great "Rock Lobster" lyrics, although the line after the NARWHAL mention could be considered as body shaming nowadays.

  3. I am so glad that the review quoted the whole Nash poem. When I was solving I didn't get much beyond "Ogden who wrote" before filling in NASH, thinking to myself, "oh the rest of this clue must be rather funny, I'll need to go read it some time when I'm not in the middle of a speed-solve".

    As for L-H- I tried punching it into and it found LCHF (Low Carbohydrate High Fat) or LBHU (Locally Based Hospital Unit) and a bunch of others which are perhaps just as bad but I didn't have the stomach to sort through them. Apparently, their search doesn't have an option for "just show me the good ones".