Thursday, November 12, 2020

Thursday, November 12, 2020, Kristian House


I'm not sure I've ever seen today's particular twist before, but I knew something was up when I hit 17-Across "Shelley ode that begins "Hail to thee, blithe spirit!" (AASKYLARK). Even though I already had LIAM (Youngest of the Hemsworth brothers), I took out the last two letters and left them blank, thinking maybe there was a brother named LIto-something, because I wanted a little "to" rebus there.

One of the ITBANDS
But my confusion was soon cleared up by 28-Across, "Bye for now" (TALKUULATER). I had LUTIST (Many a troubador), and had wanted INUIT (Native of the Land of the Midnight Sun), but had resisted the "two U" situation. Then it hit me. 

FLOATSOUTCC (Gently leaves shore) came a little more quickly, and I should have known to expect the last one to have a little something more - as the best themes seem to kick it up a notch for the final entry - but BBORNOTBB (Famous question first asked around 1600) still took a little more time, and got a little more of a chuckle when it did finally come clear.

The toughest cross, I'm guessing (except for all those in the North Star state), will be 6-D "Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan" (OMAR) and 15-A "Parts of some circles, in France" (AMIS) (circles of "friends"). And I didn't know "Peace Nobelist Yousafzai" (MALALA) either, but the A might be easier to guess there than the M, I don't know.

I'd never thought of a CLOVE as a dried flower bud, but now that I've read it, I will never be able to see it any differently. Makes sense, I guess. And another surprise was thinking of Jessica TANDY as Blanche, as I know her chiefly through "Driving Miss Daisy." There were quite a few names today, many of them either older or a tad on the RANDOS side - KAROL, LYNDON, LIAM, MALALA, OMAR, ABEL, EDDIE, EYDIE, TASHA, DEBS. Perhaps it was clued a little on the easier side because of all that.

Favorite clue: "Skinny?" (DERMAL).

Overall, I like a Thursday with a trick, and this is no exception.

- Horace


  1. 18:44
    I, too, enjoyed the little trick. I tried imam up there at 1A at first, though, so that gave me a little slowdown. I knew both MALALA and OMAR off of the clues, as well as KAROL, LYNDON, EYDIE and EDDIE. However, I needed some crosses for TASHA and TANDY. The first theme answer I understood was TALKUULATER, and that allowed me to repair my original entry of BeORNOTBe, thinking, like Horace, that there had to be some "to" trick somewhere. The realization made the other two theme answers much easier. I never heard the term RANDOS, and I am highly unlikely to use it. The MISHEARD clue was amusing, but not "ha ha" funny, IMO.

  2. I had fun! 'Course like a nut I tried putting "2" in the spaces where TO wouldn't fit, saving myself at the last minute when I finally got the trick. Very nice puzzle!