Thursday, April 22, 2021

Thursday, April 22, 2021, Jem Burch

Happy Earth Day!

Huzzah for our planet. Let's do more to make sure we can pass it on to the next generation and the generations beyond that one. But before you do, take the time to read my blog review of today's non-Earth Day related puzzle! And congratulations to Mr. Burch for his debut today. And it's a beaut!

I figured out the rebus pretty early on, not in the northwest corner, but in the central north section. 7D: Who has finished a 100-meter dash in under nine seconds (N[OO]NE) had two possible answers: Usain Bolt and nobody else. I put in NoNE, thinking that seemed weird. And then 15A: Ruckuses (H[OO]HAS) looked very odd as HoHAS. And so it clicked. 

Shortly thereafter, I realized that 17A had to be SEANCONNERY, and I knew what was going on. There were going to be seven squares with OO in them, for "double-O 7," James Bond's assigned number from MI-6. This helped immensely, because I was able to put DANIELCRAIG and PIERCEBROSNAN in without much thought.

Turns out there are, as predicted, seven rebus squares, but when I finished the puzzle, an animation kicked in to helpfully demonstrate that the squares were set out in the shape of a seven. Very nice!

For the record, I would rate the actors who played James Bond in the following way:

  1. Sean Connery. Iconic. Brutal. Problematic nowadays, in the way he treats women, but it was of its time.
  2. Daniel Craig. Brutal, brooding. A little humorless at times, but super stylish.
  3. Roger Moore. Swerving into the campy here, but a great run. 
  4. George Lazenby. One movie? He's pretty good in it though.
  5. David Niven. Also one movie, and it's a spoof, but he more than anyone, actually embodied what the role was meant to be, I think.
  6. Timothy Dalton. Meh.
  7. Pierce Brosnan. Double meh.

Meanwhile, in the puzzle, I thought 38D: Flustered (INATIZZY) was the best answer of the day. And how about the fact that SHEBA in the bible is referring to Yemen? I had no idea. I always pictured it being in Northern Africa, like Algeria or some such.

Some fun clues: 5D: It quits when it gets depressed (ESC). Very cute. In a similar key (see what I did there?), 58D: Key to advancing one's writing? (TAB). 

And for the win, 64A: Unexpected declaration at the altar (IDONT). Mic drop.

- Colum


  1. I didn't notice the 7-shape, but did notice everything else. I entered NoNE at first, too, thinking it odd, but corrected it after figuring out the rebus elsewhere. I suppose that's a pretty good ordering of the various Bonds. I always enjoy the movies, but isn't it just the same plot over and over again? Anyway, I prefer the "open" variety to a CASHBAR, and a baritone to a TENOR, but there isn't much in this excellent Thursday puzzle to get INATIZZY about. I knew the SHEBA thing from other crossword puzzles, but was surprised about the similarity to a 747 of a DCTEN; I always thought the latter was smaller for some reason.

  2. Ah I was wondering what the rebus had to do with Bond and whether there should be a revealer. But who needs that when I have this blog?

    I had the same reaction to the runner clue and I think maybe I even filled in "bolt" briefly, but it didn't take long to get the rebus (maybe on C[OO]KIETIN).

    As for the relative size of 747 and DC-10, the 747 is indeed larger, especially if you count some of the kater, larger 747 variants, but not by so much that I have a serious beef with the clue. I mean, "similar" gives a lot of leeway, or maybe I'm just in a generous mood.