Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Wednesday, June 9, 2021, Byron Walden

Today we find four less-than-desirable stereotypes, each on their own perch. A BACKSEATDRIVER, the COUCHPOTATO, a STOOLPIGEON, and an ARMCHAIREXPERT. I guess I've heard of an ARMCHAIREXPERT ... wait! Maybe I'm being one by writing this blog. And I guess if I'm honest with myself, I've also been a BACKSEATDRIVER, although Frannie would probably say that I'm more often a "passenger seat driver." STOOLPIGEON is mostly reserved to crime movies, but COUCHPOTATO ... well, now, I think we've all done a little too much of that in the past 15 months, haven't we? But we're coming out of it! :)

Mauna LOA
I've written the name so many times. How did I not know it is the world's largest active volcano?

After dropping in MACCHIATOS (Espressos "stained" with a bit of milk), VELVEETA (Kraft product), and BARBARELLA (1968 Jane Fonda sci-fi role), I thought we might be looking at some kind of double-letter theme in the Downs, but SOLEMNLY (How presidents swear when taking the oath of office) put an end to that notion.

There were, however, a couple mini connections like ADIA (Sarah McLachlan hit that's 51-Down spelled in reverse) and AIDA, and ELON (Musk of 45-Across) and TESLA, and the pair of "Courtly titles" SIR and LADY. It seems like a connection could also have been made between VAPE and ECIGS (Modern heath risks, for short) - or is vaping different from e-cigging? 

Interesting clue for ULNA (Bone on the pinkie side of the forearm), and "De-tailed detail?" for SPEC was too clever by half, as my mother-in-law used to say. (The "de-tailing" is the removal of "ification" from the answer). IRIDESCES (Glistens with shimmering colors) was lovely, but I was a little surprised to see TIREDBLOOD (Condition better known as anemia). I would have thought that TIREDBLOOD would be seen as pejorative these days. Of course, I would also think that of LIONHUNTER.

In the end, a fine Wednesday. Solid theme, unusual entries, and some interesting clues. Sounds a little like yesterday's review, I guess, but it's probably best for me to not think about how every review I write is going to have similarities. Or is it? Every day we fill in a 15x15 grid. You'd think it would get old, but it never does. 

- Horace


  1. Wondering about this one. Was it easier than the usual Wednesday fare, or was I just in a receptive frame of mind? Aside from putting in ECIG instead of VAPE early on (I think they're different; the former being a subset of the latter) -and lo, there it was, elsewhere! - I just trucked through the grid top to bottom, mercifully typo-free this time, in 4:03.

    I like IRIDESCES. Such an evocative word.

  2. IRIDESCES, I agree, is by far the highlight here. Otherwise, the solve fell far short of glistening with shimmering colors. Unpleasantness abounds: the moronic VAPE-ing and ECIGS, GAMER, murder hornets, the insane savagery of the LIONHUNTER, Always PADS, ANAL, Low-CARB silliness, and the coup de grace (four syllables, please) ITME. OK, I enjoy the nice trivia of CURIE and SHEEP, and I always like to be reminded of my fav Disney princess and Flexible Flyers (three of which are in the garage of the house I'm writing from), but overall this was a flat, dull gray Wednesday.

  3. Much easier for me than Tuesday's. STOOL PIGEON seemed like an outlier to me, but I just looked it up: ahem...the term evidently comes from a 19th century "use of a pigeon fixed to a stool as a decoy." (?)

    Jane Fonda was BARBARELLA??? Wow...didn't know that.

    1. Anybody over 50 knows STOOLPIGEON. You must be a youngster:) Here's the best explanation as to its origin:

    2. Thank you, English...I guess it is an outlier after all.

      Kelly <---not a youngster...immature, yes ;-)

  4. Fun solve with Hope tonight. I like something more to tie the theme answers together, but in some opposition to ET59, I kind of like the craziness of the long answers.

  5. Wow, harsh review ET59. I don't like ITME at all, and am against both ECIGS and VAPEs (the latter not containing nicotine, I think, as one of my friends uses them). And Kelly, all boys of a certain age know all about BARBARELLA. Not much need for a LIONHUNTER, IMO, either. I enjoyed the solve, though, at 7:39.