Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tuesday, July 14, 2020, Stella Zawistowski


It's Horace. I'm doing the review for Frannie even though she didn't ask me too, because she's had a hell of a day and she's in another Zoom meeting at 5:30, and I think it will (I hope it will) make her happy to find that the review is finished and posted when she gets out of that.


So anyway, Ms. Zawistowski's mission is to make the puzzle harder, and by Jove I say she's done it again. This was not your usual "write the answer in as soon as you read the clue" type of Tuesday by any stretch. At least not for me. If Colum were doing the review, it might be a different story. He's the SHERLOCK in the group. I'm the ARTSY one.

But first, the theme. It is Broadway-based (sigh ... remember shows?), and is in my favorite form - pinwheel! Bonus points for ANNIEHALL (Performance venue for a 1977 Broadway musical?) because it is also a movie. RENTFREEZE (Super-cold spell on the set of a 1996 Broadway musical?) is nice, because it's great, if you're a renter, when you get one, and WICKEDGOOD (Positive, albeit terse, review of a 2003 Broadway musical?) is good because of the wicked pissah Boston connection. Is Ms. Zawistowski from Boston? I have no idea. And finally, HAIRSHIRT (Souvenir from a 1968 Broadway musical?) is great because - wouldn't it have been hilarious if someone actually had this idea back then and mass-produced hairshirts and loads of people bought them after going to the show? That would have been amazing. Tell you what, let's make it happen. Somebody stage a revival (once we can do that sort of thing again, of course) and then somebody else (not me - I'm just the idea man) get the shirts made. It'll be epic.

So, ok, in the INTEREST of keeping our small but dedicated cadre of readers actually reading, I'll TRIANGLE-ulate back toward a somewhat coherent discussion of the fill. I applaud NOOIL (Dieter's food request, maybe) for the way it looks in the grid, and PLONK (Old piano's sound) for its audacity, and for it's proximity to GRAND (Concert piano). SCRAPE (What a bandage may cover) will remind Huygens, and others, of the Piranha Brothers sketch ("So they took me for a scrape round to Dinsdale's place). Others, like YOUANDI (We two) and SKIPPING (Saying "No thanks" to, say) took me several crosses. (See: "make the puzzle harder" above.)

Overall, I enjoyed the unexpected Tuesday challenge.

- Horace

p.s. It's possible that Frannie has already started what would surely have been a more refined review, and if so, perhaps this will be only temporary. So be it.

Frannie here! Not that you need to hear from me after the excellent and very helpful review submitted by my esteemed co-blogger, Horace. But, I thought I would chime in with my time for today (12:37) and my "FWOE is me" story. I misread the clue at 41D as 'Collection of letters: Abbr.' which made GPa seem not only correct but clever, and as I didn't know the answer to "Workplace discrimination law enforcer, for short" (EEOC) I didn't notice my mistake until the puzzle was complete and the app suggested I keep trying. So much for me being on a tear today! The actual clue "Collection of letters: Abbr." had the intended and entertaining answer GPO. Ha! Maybe tomorrow I can go WHOLEHOG and solve the puzzle both quickly and correctly! That would be WICKEDGOOD. ~FP.


  1. Thanks for the review...I knew sooner or later a Bostonian (not that you have to BE a Bostonian) wouldn't gripe at WICKED. Pissah review indeed, although I hope to see Frannie's views soon, too.

  2. 13:22
    Definitely not an easy Tuesday. I almost FWOE'd because I'd entered PLiNK before reading the down, which saved me. Decent theme, although I've seen only one of the shows featured. We meant to go see "Wicked" at some point, but never got around to it. Yes, Horace, SCRAPE did, indeed, remind me of the oft-mentioned "Piranha Brothers" sketch. Nice that NOOIL crosses OLIVE at just the right letter. Of course, we here at the YBH go through EVOO by the gallon.