Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sunday, June 20, 2021, Michael Lieberman


Happy Fathers' Day everybody! I have had a lovely weekend so far, starting with the surprise of Phoebe showing up out of the blue Friday evening. Cece's already home from college, so I had my whole family with me. Today's been great so far, with breakfast sammies after a nice run. 

And an outstanding Sunday puzzle to boot. I had a lot of fun with the theme, which takes words and splits them up, thus creating silly phrases. My favorite was 78A: Actress de Armas writes "Mr. Gas" and "Ms. Rag"? (ANAANAGRAMSGRAMS). But I also thought APPAPPRAISESRAISES was apt and CONCONFUSESFUSES

If I have a complaint, it's with the last theme answer at 112A: Doctor acquires antibiotics? (PROPROCURESCURES). Why "pro" for doctor? I mean, we are professionals, but it seems oddly imprecise, considering how careful the rest of the answers are. Just to be clear, I recognize how silly it is for me to raise this issue, but that's my right as blogger in charge today. Ha!


Meanwhile, so many excellent clues today. Let's start with maybe the best in a long time, in my opinion. 65A: One seeing things with a critical eye? (CYCLOPS). Oh, yes. I love the syntax here, with the perfect "a" and how the eye is "critical." 

109A: Ones making you duck down? (EIDERS) is another example of an excellent QMC. In the other camp, there's 70D: Like fuschia and turquiose (MISSPELLED) - definitely took me a moment to see what the clue was doing. And in another school of clue styles, there's 25D: Skip it (STONE). I can't remember if we came up with a name for this kind of clue, but exhortatory seems appropriate.

I've never seen the term THIRSTTRAP before, but the concept seems clear. I will refrain from posting an example on this blog. 

I'm neither a fan of CAMPARI (sorry, Horace and Frannie) or guacamole (sorry, my family), but I agree that CUMIN can go well with just about everything.

Here's looking forward to a good week.

- Colum


  1. My printed copy has TURQUOISE correctly spelled. A rare error in the Sunday puzzle, which I’ve done weekly for 30+ years.

  2. This is kind of silliness I LOVE in a puzzle. The wordplay is spot on and each themer brought a satisfying giggle from me. (I know what you mean, Colum, about the PRO entry, but can't think of a better way to clue it.) Wow, SamIAm, 30 years? That's great.

    Happy Father's Day!

  3. Fully satisfying! The theme was an easy one so it was fun to try to fill in the lower ones before any crossers (only partial success). BTS - who knew? And agree with Kelly and Colum, PRO is kind of crappy but no alternative presents itself. Steady downward progress and no huge hiccups aside from the usual plague o' typos = 15:36. Oh there was one - it took some unravelling to change SHEESH to OHBABY :)

  4. I thought the same thing regarding inaptness when filling in PROPROCURESCURES as other commenters (and the blogger) on this blog. I loved the theme, however. I dropped ROSSSEA right in with its great run of esses, as the puzzle likes to spell it. And as I entered LOGAN in off the clue, I got to wondering if that's well-known by those not from around here? I didn't know of this southern university, so ELONELONGATESGATES took me a while to get. Shouldn't that have been clued with Elon Musk torturing Bill Gates on the rack?

  5. "Takes words and splits them up" is not at all how I would have described this theme. I didn't see it as a single word split up (which it is, I guess), but as two words the same then two more words the same, and one word in the middle made of the two single words. I'm not sure what that says about me, but whatever the verdict, I, too, thoroughly enjoyed this one.

    Did I know about your non-love for CAMPARI?! I could drink Negronis til the cows come home.