Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Wednesday, July 1, 2020, Amanda Rafkin and Ross Trudeau


Middle of the week, middle of the year. Guess it doesn't get much more "hump day" than that, huh?

Never have I wanted the NYT crossword more for its ability to lighten the day and improve the mood. So in honor of that, let's just get some of the negative out of the way first, shall we?

To hit STYE and CYST within the first 30 seconds of solving was somewhat alarming. Add to that CLAP and RASH, and you've got a veritable grab bag of bodily afflictions. I know, I know, the latter two aren't clued that way. Just be glad I didn't include JUNK. Or ACME. Heh heh...

Also, the crossing of NOURI and MARTA is a rough go. I guessed correctly, but I can see that many would not have done so.

All right, with that over and done with, let's acknowledge the good. The theme is very clever and quite unusual. The revealer is at 54A: Network of personal relationships ... or a punny hint to 3-, 7- and 11-Down (SOCIALCAPITAL). The twist here is to treat that as working with money through social media networks.

The answers referenced are three phrases begin with verbs that work within social media and end with synonyms for cash. Thus FOLLOWSTHEMONEY is clued as "Joins a Federal Reserve Facebook group?" I like that all three examples are in the 3rd person present tense. It makes it consistent.

There's not a ton of fascinating fill otherwise. I am surprised to note that of the last eleven Across answers, eight are proper nouns/names. I liked 20A: Things that magnets and barbershops both have (POLES). Also 46A: Connections on Air France? (ETS). Cute!

- Colum


  1. There's a plethora of obscure proper names. ALLAN, NOURI, OCHOA, TAYE to name four. However, if the definition of obscure is "one I don't know", OTTO, EVEL and KANYE are not obscure.

    Well and I guess I better call Sam Snead obscure since that was the site of my error (as in, the thing I finished with one of) on ALLAt/StEAD. Although this was more of "did not correctly recall and fill in dude's name" than "never 'eard of 'im".

  2. 15:45
    Long time for a Wednesday. SNEAD obscure? Isn't Mr. Kingdon a "Peanuts" fan? Wasn't Charlie Brown's dad a big fan of Sam? But yes, NOURI/MARTA was a tough cross, but the "r" was the only rational guess there, and also yes, CYST and STYE were terrible. ASTO body afflictions/parts, how about TESTY? Too much? Tougher than normal Wednesday for me, but nice enough. WIPERBLADES had a nice clue.