Sunday, January 24, 2021

Sunday, January 24, 2021, Lucy Howard and Ross Trudeau


Hey everyone! Hope your New Year is going as well as planned. How long did your resolution last for? I will just say that I can't remember what my resolution was, and leave it at that for you to decide how well it's going.

Here in Albany, the Amory household has taken to solving the puzzle together en famille, at least for Thursday through Sunday. It's been a fun new tradition, and it's supported by my giving up the keyboard to either Cece or Hope. So we just completed this sweet little Sunday pleaser together. Like taking candy from a baby, the answers just flowed forth.

The theme (in case you couldn't guess from my intro) takes well-known names of candy and strings them together to make seven ludicrous phrases. My rules of success with this sort of thing starts with easily recognizable source material (no issues here on any of them, with the possible exception of the old British standby, the Mars Bar, which was officially discontinued in the US of A in 2002). Secondly, the reconfigured phrases have to be constructed effectively, and again there are no issues here. 

Finally, they should make you smile (and hopefully actually laugh out loud). And this unfortunately didn't really happen at all, with two mild exceptions. 31A: A young justice Ginsburg chuckles?(BABYRUTHSNICKERS) was humorous for the image created. Or at least in my mind, a little baby girl with glasses and a black robe with lace was amusing. The other one that made me smile was 47A: Do core exercises all day, every day? (CRUNCHNOWANDLATER), only because I liked the way the second candy name worked in the answer.

I will also nod to 22A: Bookworms call dad? (NERDSRINGPOP) just because I love the way the phrase reparses the candy name "ringpop" into two words, where the first becomes a verb rather than a noun. That's fun wordplay.

By Paul KLEE

There were some nice clues in the mix as well. I liked 91D: Legendary password stealer (ALIBABA). Also, 28D: Ally of the Brat Pack (SHEEDY) could be misread if the hidden capital was not noted. 45D: Idaho, e.g., in dialect (TATER) could mislead one away from the vegetable. RIGBY took quite some time to get, as we were all looking for first names.

On the QMC side, 54A: Business for Sanders supporters? (KFC) is quite clever. 85D: Promises, promises! (IDOS) fits into that unclear category of exclamation clues. I still don't have a good name for it, although we might have settled on something in prior days.

Not a fan of TILER, OBEYERS, INKMARK. These seem somewhat EELY ways to fill in the grid. But maybe I'm just feeling hypoglycemic after all that candy wore off.

Congratulations to Ms. Howard for her debut puzzle!

- Colum


  1. For me, this ran tough because in general, I don't partake of the candy, so was not familiar with all of them. I don't know of a Now and Later, nor had I heard of a Spree. Many of the others were slow to come to me, which contributed to my long 51:50 solve time. I'm partial to MILKYWAYSTARBURST, but it didn't make me chuckle. I suppose the funniest was NERDSRINGPOP. I don't make resolutions. And instead of RIGBY, I dropped SADIE right in and it took me a long time to get rid of it. It didn't help that my candy knowledge allowed me to think that BABeRUTHSNICKERS was reasonable.

  2. OMG I ate soo maaany SPREEs when I was younger. They're like sweet tarts, but tarter, and with a hard shell. Basically, sugar with a sugar coating. Sooo goood.

    I thought this puzzle was sweet enough. :)

    1. Hmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar. I guess I just didn't know the name.