Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Tuesday, August 11, 2020, Amanda Rafkin and Ross Trudeau


It's been beautiful weather so far on the Delaware shore, and we're enjoying our stay in our beach house very much, even if we have to drive to the beach, unlike certain other bloggers I could name. The jellyfish have waxed and waned with the tides, and we all rush out of the water if we see one.

But all of this is foofaraw compared to the important details of the day: the New York Times crossword puzzle. And today's is the best kind of silliness. Who comes up with the idea of finding four 15-letter answers with exactly five vowels, all in the pattern of EIEIO? Well, apparently Ms. Rafkin and Mr. Trudeau, that's who.

DERRINGERPISTOL is a strong answer, and the best of the four in my opinion. I like PRESIDENTWILSON, although few people would refer to him in that style, a hundred years removed from his terms in office. And also, he was a white supremacist, so that's not great. But a historian REWRITESHISTORY nearly every year, so now we start to examine our predecessors and appropriately acknowledge their moral faults. And then we all go and eat VERMICELLIBOWLS.

Of course WHEREFORES is a winner in my book, because of HMS Pinafore. The song is always a high point of the second act, and allows for a bunch of silliness onstage. I recall one production where on the second encore all three actors came out on tricycles. For a similar reason, 48D: Group of like things (BEVY) is a highlight, due to Pirates of Penzance, the first place I ever heard that word in use. "By all that's marvelous, a bevy of beautiful maidens!"

But enough of Gilbert and Sullivan. For the other 98% of our readers, I will move on to other subjects. I liked the crossing of TWIT and IDIOT, as well as the crossing of RIFT and SIFT. I'm not sure why 56D: Real mouthful? (CUD) merited a question mark, except insofar as I would not want to have that particular mouthful in my mouth. 

Good times.

- Colum


  1. 9:34
    This took me substantially longer to solve than Colum, but that's OK. I had no idea what was going on until I saw the revealer. It is definitely an impressive accomplishment. I thought that I was off to a great start when I saw 1A Bulldozed and immediately entered RAZED, but I had some small slowdowns elsewhere that led to my somewhat long-ish Tuesday time. Don't we always refer to former presidents as "President So-and-so?" We were reminded of that when we saw President Carter teach Sunday School a short while ago (in the pews with us were Rep. Lewis and Sen. Booker). We were told that in the unlikely event that President Carter addressed us as we walked up to have a photo taken with him and Mrs. Carter that we should address him in that manner. I suppose if I visited PRESIDENTWILSON's grave, I'd refer to it just like that. MURSE is a word with which I am never associated, and the clue for BATHTOWELS was humorous. I tried CHOw at first for 12D, but it was quickly corrected with its cross NIHIL to CHOI, a name that, although popular in Korea, is completely unknown to me.

  2. Finished with one error because I didn't believe that CHOI was a common name and that it must be CHOu and well I sort of thought NIHIL over NIHuL but you know my memory for Latin and its derivatives isn't great and you know how it can be tricky with declensions and the like.

    Now I'm browsing https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhou_(surname) amd various articles it links to. Who says one doesn't learn anything from crosswords?

  3. 4:47

    I'm glad I have bloggers to explain the themes to me! This was a cute one. I applaud the excellent idea and execution.

    And Huygens, I've fully taken to the marf, I think it's only a matter of time before I acquire a murse.

    1. Well, maybe it would suit you and complete the ensemble.