Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Tuesday, October 13, 2020, Amanda Rafkin


Tolstoy said "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." Pretty deep stuff there, Lev Nikolayevich. Is there a lesson to be learned in today's circumstances? Probably, but I doubt anybody's listening.

So, instead, let's focus on the puzzle! (I bet that unexpected twist was a shocker for our readers...) The theme today finds three phrases with the letters WIN repeated within them, with the revealer WINWINSITUATION. I love the phrase to explain the theme. Did anybody see it coming before getting to 57A? I noticed the repeated gerunds at the start of each answer, but otherwise no.

KNOWINGWINK is my favorite of the three. Starting and ending with a K, and it reminds me of Monty Python's "Nudge, nudge" sketch: "Photographs, eh? he asked knowingly..." Many people like Bob Dylan, but for my taste I'll always take Peter, Paul & Mary first, because I like hearing the melody. Wrecked!

The puzzle hit a couple of high notes for me, most notably with 37D: Frédéric who composed the "Revolutionary" Étude (CHOPIN). I just noticed the three accents aigus in that clue. Supposedly inspired by the despair he felt on Russia's defeat of Poland and subsequent occupation in 1831, it's the last of his first set of études. Some of my favorite music of all time. Nice grouping with BELA, STYNESONATAS and EFLAT.

Bartok BELA

Also, I enjoyed seeing ROWAN Atkinson. Not, mind you, for his Mr. Bean pabulum, but rather for his brilliant appearance in Four Weddings and a Funeral ("Father, Son, and Holy Goat..."), and even earlier, his part in "Not The Nine O'Clock News," a sketch show dating back to the time I spent in England, where he, Pamela Stephenson, Griff Rhys Jones, and Mel Smith (he played the Albino in The Princess Bride) made fun of the events of the day.

Nice C/AP at 2D: It's a cinch (BELT), and 31D: End of an era? (ONEBC) and 53D: Something of little matter? (ATOM) are good QMCs.

- Colum


  1. Almost Naticked on WES crossing STYNE, but correctly guessed the S.

    And it is a good thing crosswords can now have brand names in them, because it would be fairly desperate to try to clue KCUPS as "Kansas City good moods"

  2. 5:45
    I never liked Bean too much either, but I understand it's popular with some. However, I do know ROWAN well enough, so that didn't slow me down at all. I'm one of those that will take Dylan over PP&M, although I do enjoy nice harmonization, which we don't get much anymore (see CS&N). The Python skit is what came to mind for me with KNOWINGWINK, also. And the PEAT, my god, the PEAT, makes me crave some nice Scotch, of course. I didn't see the theme coming.

  3. 4:54
    It's cool that Huygens' time and mine are sort of inverted.

    I hadn't noticed the theme while solving, actually, which is why I like having a good review to read! :)