Thursday, October 15, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020, Lindsey Hobbs


The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or, as the original would have it, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." Turns out it was Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr who first said that. And honestly, here's an example where the French has the English beat hands down.

Which gets to my point, to wit: I am incapable of taking on somebody else's style in blogging as anything more than a sham, a pretense, an insulting homage. Instead, I peddle my faux learned nature (really the result of inspired Googling) and musings on the day's puzzle.

Oh, right! The puzzle.

Let's PAUSEFORAMOMENT and enjoy the cleverness of this theme. Not only do we get AUSTRALIA and its nickname, DOWNUNDER, but Ms. Hobbs takes the instructions literally, turning four other words strongly associated with Australia so they flip under and below their start.

Now, we've heard some grumbling in these pages for clues like 17A, 36A, 43A, and 62A ("-"), because they give the game away. And perhaps so. Certainly I came to 14A: Web-footed mammals, and thought to myself, "well, self, surely they're looking for PLATY[PUSES]," and I was right. I already had SE___ in place at 17A, and so seeing the clue there, filled in the rest. But really, what other choice was there? It would have been beyond awesome if the second part of the answers were words in their own right when read backwards, but honestly impossible.

And how fun is it to see OODIR and OORA in the grid?

Meanwhile, there's a bunch of bonus material, with KOALA, RUM, MAORI... Okay, they're from New Zealand, but it's practically next door, especially compared to Upstate New York.


Google says they're 2,587 miles apart, which is about the same distance as New York to Las Vegas. I stand corrected.

ATUL Gawande

Other fun stuff today include 41A: Bouncer's equipment (TRAMPOLINE) - how delightfully literal. Things not to enjoy today include STYES.

- Colum


  1. Before I had any revealers or hints of the theme, I saw the one about bread spread and was like "well it should be vegemite but there are so many four letter possibilities (well not quite "mayo" because that isn't a brand)".

  2. 15:03 (FWOE)

    I feel I've been called out for my grumbling, and while I do stand by it, I also enjoy this type of tomfoolery, as it were. The boomeranging words (I'm guessing Ms. Hobbs at one point tried to cram that into the grid) are a lot of fun.

    It took me fully five minutes to find that I had misspelled PLATi[PUSES], and somehow I kept skimming over TiPIFIED, because it "sounded" right. Oh well.

    And Colum, I'm sorry to dox you so publicly here in the comments of an obscure blog (one in which you have the power to delete comments "forever"), but I'm thinking that someone with both a medical degree and a Harvard degree can't really be claiming a "faux learned nature." Especially, A. while using the word "faux," and 5. in a sentence that also uses the words "peddle" and "musings." It is to laugh.

    Your very own style of reviewing is what elevates this blog. Your reviews (and Frannie's) make my own "slovenly wilderness" "sprawled around" rise up, "no longer wild." And for your continued participation I am continuingly grateful.

    1. My innermost secrets have been revealed! No, Horace, this isn't calling you out. I actually love your grumblings. No, if you look back to Sunday's review, you'll get the idea. Instead of trying to be like either you or Frannie, I'm sticking with my own style. And apparently a theme of the week as well.

  3. 18:25 (FWOE)
    The VEGE/EFREM cross got me, where I'd entered an "a" for the down, and thought it reasonable for the across, having never tried the stuff. I first heard of VEGE[MITE], of course, in a Men at Work song ("...he just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich..."). It took me a little while to figure out the theme, hence my time, but once I did the filling went quickly. I appreciate all of the bloggers' styles.

  4. I like each of your distinct styles as well. And I loved this puzzle! Had me humming "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" all afternoon. :-)