Friday, January 29, 2021

Friday, January 29, 2021, Robyn Weintraub

I had a feeling the turn was going to be good this week, and lo and behold! Ms. Weintraub's name pops up on the screen. I'm always excited when I see her byline. She is consistently smooth in her construction, and fun to solve.

Today, I felt there was something of a hidden theme going on. When you're in PARENTHOOD, it's common to have a PICKYEATER in the household. Many Moms and Dads have a SECRETRECIPE to convince them to eat, and then it's a DONEDEAL. Unless it's EXTRASPICY, and then there's ZEROCHANCE!

OVERTHETOP? Maybe. But at least I amused myself.

I like the contrasting "100% not happening!" and "100% happening!" clues. Other great clues include:

18A: Big brass (TROMBONE)

30A: Hot dogs do this (PANT)

11D: Talk up? (PRAY)

46A: "The weapon of the powerless against the powerful," according to Molly Ivins (SATIRE). I was thinking maybe "the vote" but that just goes to show how naive I still am, apparently.

31A: Bar exam? (PUBTRIVIA). Excellent.

MRS Lovett and Sweeney Todd

My favorite comes at 19D: TV roommates for 50+ years (BERTANDERNIE). By the way, it can't go the other way around. Ernie and Bert is not a thing. 

My other favorite is at 14A: Choice for those eager to retire and travel? (SLEEPERCAR). So much is good here, that I can't even get them all in. 

Can tomorrow match up to Thursday and Friday? Tune in to find out!

- Colum


  1. I'll enter my time (9:57) because I am fairly certain that I've never been under 10 on a Friday. I knew I was flying through this one as I was solving, but was still surprised to see that I hadn't gone into double digits when the Happy Pencil popped up. I agree with Colum in that there's lots of great stuff in here. And didn't DEPP star in the "Sweeney Todd" movie that came out a few years ago with HELENA (see what I did there?) Bonham Carter as MRS Lovett? I suppose that would have been too obvious to link those clues. Haven't seen HEF in the grid for a while. And PICKYEATER? That's always the fault of the parents, IMO.

  2. Always a treat to see this byline on a late week puzzle. I, too, flew through this (9:14), in just over half the time it took me to solve yesterdays! So smooth, so enjoyable.

    Loved seeing mention of the "Clean-plate club." Huygens, you should mention that entry to the wife. I thought our grandparents came up with that club, but I now realize that it is more widespread. When Sue and I were running the Nashville marathon, we passed a diner by that name and were tempted to pop in to proudly announce that we were members!

    1. Yes, I remember seeing a photo of that from the marathon, and know of the story. Unfortunately, I've erased the puzzle, but I'll mention it to Sue.