Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tuesday, March 16, 2021, Lindsey Hobbs

Tricky start for a Tuesday, no? Maybe it's just me, but I don't have GREBES (Diving birds) front of mind, as they annoyingly say at work. Maybe they're hidden behind all the terns and ern(e)s. 



The revealer today, ICEDTEA, explains the amusing theme: Take a familiar phrase that starts with T, get rid of (ice) the T, and clue wackily. We love wacky, and this one made me smile. EARJERKER (Corn farmer at harvest time?) was silly, and AXDODGERS (Lumberjacks in unsafe working conditions?) was amusingly absurd. URNOFEVENTS (Caterer's coffee dispenser?) was funny - to me anyway - mostly thanks to its oddity. And "Jane Goodall, at times?" for APERECORDER? It's funny because it's true!

The long Downs, despite the presence of ODIUMS and BOREDOM, were anything but annoying and boring. PRONOUNCE and ETHERNET may not be especially BRISK, or a GODSEND to the solver, but it's not ASIF they're BAD or anything. AUTONYM (Name of self-identification, as "Deutsche" for "Germans") is pushing it, but hey, that's an Across, and we're not talking about those right now! :)

For me, any Tuesday puzzle that makes me smile is all right. It's just the second puzzle from Ms. Hobbs, who burst onto the scene last year with a tricky Thursday grid. I shall eagerly await her next byline.

- Horace


  1. I was taken in by 1A, also, entering eiderS quite confidently, but damn those crosses, which all received a NOVOTE (except for SECT, of course) from that choice. Definitely an amusing theme, but the ODIUMS/AXDODGERS cross for me came in a bit slowly since I so wanted "danger" to be part of the across answer. TINCAN was a funny answer for 68A Jalopy (a funny clue). Not much to complain about, but the couple of tricky parts COST me a quick solve, and I lumbered along to a 9:20 finish.

  2. Why should Thursdays have all the fun? Although I guess this isn't really Thursday level of trickery as the clues do match the answers as long as you are willing to suspend your disbelief in wackiness.

    I didn't have any diving-bird-related false starts, but I did have "open" before AIRY which oddly enough I corrected on AUTONYM (odd in the sense that it is barely a word).