Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021, Hal Moore

You may not believe this, but my father recited the poem CASEYATTHEBAT (Poem subtitled "A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888") at our family Zoom two weeks ago. We have been having these Zooms weekly for over a year now. Usually we just JABBER, but sometimes one of us gives a short presentation, or we play a game of Jeopardy together (each creating clues for one category), or we have a show and tell, but usually those events are announced. This time, after about twenty minutes, Dad just said "I'm going to read a poem this week." We were all familiar with the poem, because one of my brothers had recited it in high school many (many) years ago, but this recent reading certainly seemed somewhat out of the blue. Maybe it was just after opening day or something (yes, that must have been it, (No SOPHIST, I!)), but still.

SURFER salute, the shaka sign

So anyway, seeing it again today seemed quite strange. But really, it's only the first four letters we're concerned with here. They begin together, then shift one at a time to the right-hand side of the thematic entries. An interesting idea, and well done, as all five entries (with the possible exception of the poem) should appear quite common to most solvers.

I was surprised by both the clue and the entry on ASS-backwards. I thought the expression was "back-asswards," which is funnier, but maybe that construction was only possible once ASS-backwards had been established. I don't know. This is one case where I'm not going to dig into the etymology. I've typed it enough already!

Somebody loves "Pagliacci," huh? I got TONIO ("Pagliacci" baritone) entirely from crosses, but I was so sure of ARIA (without ever having heard of "Vesti la giubba") that I overruled "room" and corrected it to AREA (Floor plan info). 

Anybody else notice that "robin" fits in where ARIES (Sign of spring) belongs? I did.

- Horace


  1. Didn't notice that robin fits for ARIES but I did notice that BowiE fiys for BYRNE (I know, I know, that the former wasn't in the talking heads is elementary knowledge for a lot of people, but my favorite hobby on crossword blogs is to whine about my lack of pop culture knowledge, so I'm not about to stop now, am I?).

    Oh and I noticed that "lasso" or "rIAta" fits for TIARA (OK, OK, more the former than the latter, cluing riata in terms of Wonder Woman would be quite a stretch even by crosswordese standards).

  2. I noticed the Wonder Woman answers that Jim Kingdon mentions before landing on TIARA through crosses, but not the robin thing. Any mention of signs in a crossword makes me think "zodiac." A fine, if slightly easier-than-normal Wednesday at 7:48. ASS was surprising, but that's a well-known expression to me, and HAREM is racy, but we expect things like that from these puzzles.