A lovely Monday puzzle today. The theme of ordinary plural words taken apart and clued to change the meaning into "first name/verb." BOBSLEDS becomes "Bob sleds" (Singer Dylan has fun in the snow?). I'm not sure how many younger solvers will be familiar with Van Cliburn these days, or even Ginger Rogers, but maybe I'd be surprised. It's hard to know what others will know, isn't it? For the past two weeks, my family has played "Jeopardy!" during our weekly Zoom. Each of us put together a category with five questions and we go through them one person at a time. I tried to make questions that were not too hard, as I'm sure my brother the chemist did, but often it happened that things you think are common knowledge are not so. Can you name two of the halide elements, for example? And do you know what changes a bechamel sauce into a mornay?
I, for one, enjoyed the theme. BILLFOLDS (Businessman Gates gets out of the poker game?) might have been my favorite, partly because I was amused by the categorization of him as a "businessman." I mean, he kind of is one, I guess, but I've never thought of him that way.
Lots of fun non-theme entries in the Downs, too. The NW corner is full of them - NOSEJOB, ABALONE, DALLYING and LAYSIN are all strong. And I loved the cluing of SALTY (Like the ocean and most potato chips) and ONIONS (They bring tears to chefs' eyes). And how about "Unstraighten, as a wire" for BEND. Odd.
PUP (Young seal) was interesting to see, because I have just started learning Finnish with Duolingo, and one of the first vocabulary words is "pupu," which means "bunny." I doubt there's any connection in origin, but I still enjoyed the odd coincidence.
It's difficult to find anything to complain about today, so I won't. It's a great start to the week. Let's enjoy it.