Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Paul Coulter

0:09:48 (F.W.O.E.)

I find today's theme a pretty funny indictment of fast food. NOTHINGBURGER with WEAKSAUCE and NOGREATSHAKES to go with it. What does it spell? HAPPYMEAL! Lol. 

It's been quite a while since I've eaten at a fast food joint. Frannie and I sometimes like to amuse ourselves by thinking about all the stores that would not exist if everyone shopped the way we do. I won't go into it in too much detail (which probably surprises you), but there wouldn't be very many stores. 

Anyway, in non-theme, I like that TRAINWRECK and RUBBERNECK are symmetrical, and somewhat related. And what an odd clue for SYLLABLE (One of 14 in "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious")! When I was young, I learned to mimic the way that Mary Poppins said it "backwards," but after a while I realized that it wasn't actually the right pronunciation of what it would sound like if it were spelled backwards. Not surprisingly, others have thought along similar lines, and it has been noted that Poppins does say, "You know, you can say it backwards..." and if the seven prosodic feet (each composed of two SYLLABLEs) are read backward, it comes close to what she said. Except for the "rupus" part at the end, which should just be "super." I was surprised and delighted to learn that the "super" form of the backward pronunciation was used by Ghostface Killah in his song "Buck 50." And once again, doing the crossword leads me into a new discovery. :)

I also noticed a strong Simpsons presence today: APU ("The Simpsons" storekeeper), Julie KAVNER, voicer of Marge Simpson, and the uncredited (as usual) MOE

In CoT clues (Clever or Tricky) today, I include "Do after dark" (SOIREE), "Rock around the Christmas tree? (COAL), and "Print sources, maybe" (PAWS). That last one was the site of my FWOE. I had idiotically (because the word is in the clue) put in "rACE" at 1A and I never went back to check on 1D. And since "rAWS" is kind of a word, it took me a good long while to figure out what was wrong. Sigh.

But I enjoyed the theme today, and I learned a lot about Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and one former member of the Wu Tang clan, and really, what else does one need to start their Wednesday? 

- Horace


  1. 4:53
    I loved this theme. To find NOTHINGBURGER and NOGREATSHAKES both at 13 letters, and HAPPYMEAL and WEAKSAUCE both at 9 letters! Of course, a happy meal also has fries in it, but I don't know if there's an idiom that includes that word in it that could be a bad review. Speaking of which, I love the idea of saying of a fast food restaurant that there are no great shakes there. Hah!

  2. 10:40
    Very few stores would exist were it up to my shopping habits, also: Market Basket (under protest), Home Depot and That would do it. Decent theme today. I guess the only fast food joint I frequent (due to some grandchildren visits) is Papa Gino's, not represented in today's grid, and that's only when we don't cook for them. Haven't seen EDKOCH in the grid for a while, and MULLIGAN was a surprise answer (to me) at 9D Do-over. I enjoyed the clue for RYES and, as usual, the thought of them, and the NIPS over on the other side of the grid!