Saturday, August 1, 2020

Sunday, August 2, 2020, David Levinson Wilk


This was a fun one! Frannie and I solved this side-by-side on the couch, and we chuckled at the themers as they were revealed.


Right off the bat, while all I could think of was that stupid "Elf on a shelf," Frannie immediately said ICEBERG for "What can fall off a shelf" and we were off! Neither of us knew the next one (SHARPTON (Host of MSNBC's "PoliticsNation" beginning in 2011)), though, and before we got PHONESEX (Call of the wild?) (Nice.) I thought we might never get it, since neither of us Francophiles was familiar with that famous "French marshal in the Napoleonic Wars" - Michel NEY*. We did drop ORLY in, and we weren't fooled by "One trading dollars for quarters," but we tried both lEssee and rENter before finally getting TENANT

In the NE, I was disappointed that I could not come up with Camila CABELLO, because I love that song! That's the trouble with not buying music anymore. I hear something on Pandora, and my iPad or phone is out of range, so I just listen, never knowing the artist. Sigh. Sometimes things are weird for a person of a certain age.

Before we get much further, let's rank the theme answers. I would say this is something Colum does more often than any of us, but sometimes its fun, so let's go. From best to worst, they are:

1. FEAROFMISSINGOUT - What was causin' the doctor to check for joint pain? - That's just hilarous, and not only because I am probably at risk for gout. At least now, if I ever do get it, hopefully I'll chuckle a little remembering this clue/answer pair.

2. FALLINGRAIN - Danger when walkin' in a silo? - It's funny because it's true.

3. EVERLASTINGLOVE - Winter item you'll be wearin' for years? - I wish I had such an item, because mine seem to wear out quickly. Well, actually, I wish I had a pair of them.

4. QUALIFYINGROUND - Sayin' "Look, here's the thing about dry land ..." - It's absurd. In a good way.

5. STANDINGROOMONLY - Nobody but the guy gettin' married on his feet? - This might have been ranked higher if I didn't find the syntax slightly off.

6. PARKINGRAMP - Drivin' around the lot with pop-pop? - I never called my grandfather either of those things, and the image just isn't funny to me. Can't win 'em all.

Elsewhere, we liked NERDALERT (Teasing words when someone starts listing the digits of pi, say), MATINEE (Something never seen at night), SIRENS (Rock singers?) (very nice. Frannie got this one.), and JIGGLES (Moves like Jell-O) (Frannie also got this one). We both cringed at IIN ("Sorry, am ____ your way?"), and it was a little odd that IMS and DMS were both in the grid, but we enjoyed the theme, and we're willin' to look the other way on a few OUCHIES in the grid.

- Horace

* The Wikipedia write-up on Ney is fascinating, especially the last part (Spoiler Alert! Or is it?) about his execution.


  1. 26:58
    I had to run the alphabet for the DMS/DELFT cross, so I guess it's technically one error. Very nicely done, though. Good ordering of the themers, Horace. I, too, didn't call either grandfather by those names. I don't know about RADIOCAR, and tried dOc where MOM goes, but really there weren't too many slowdowns for me. PHONESEX was shocking and CUSS is excellent, even though I rarely do it. It's sad that people have to say IMGAY as it's really nobody's concern, but I guess there's still a certain stigma about that in some circles. ANTIPODE is a great word and I enjoyed the YETI clue. GROVER is a "Sesame Street" character that we don't see too often in a grid, nor do we often see SNERT. I was thinking of cupric sulfate instead of CUPROUS oxide at 81D from my Skilcraft Chemistry Kit many years ago. I forget exactly what I did with it, but I seem to remember it being blueish, not red.