Sunday, July 11, 2021

Sunday, July 11, 2021, Ashish Vengsarkar


Hello everyone! Welcome back to me. It's just me and Cece and the dogs this weekend, as Hope is down in DC. Hope you're all having a fine weekend! Me, I could use more sleep.

On this Sunday, we get a theme where the R is taken out of words where it's the second phoneme, and is followed by an "oo" phoneme, creating new words and thus silly phrases, which when clued in the usual wacky fashion, leads to hilarity. I'm not convinced by the title, as it seems like we should be subtracting both the R and the OO phonemes, instead of just the R.

However, the results are pretty darned good, if you ask me. The headliner is the long down answer at 10D: Dramatic accusation at a dentist's office? (YOUCANTHANDLETHETOOTH). Beautiful! And great to imagine Jack Nicholson's character from A Few Good Men shouting it at a bewildered oral surgeon. 

I also very much enjoyed TAMINGOFTHESHOO, BURDENOFPOOF, and PENELOPECOOS. These made me smile, while the remaining ones were not quite as strong.

In the fill, there's a goodly amount of misdirection clues, such as 92A: Certain bridge positions (NORTHS), referring to the card game (the best card game of all time, by the way), and 19D: Call at home (SAFE), referring to baseball. 

I love SAMOSAS. Here's a link to a good recipe.


I had difficulty with 43D: Opposite of "takes off" (DONS). I had put in DieS, which in retrospect seems iffy, but at the time seemed like a reasonable antonym for the verb. The two crosses didn't help. DRACO and IMRAN were both not immediately obvious to me. That being said, IMRAe seems unlikely for a Pakistani name.

In the QMC world, I thought 27D: Île be there? (MER) was cute, and 15D: Bands you might listen to in the car? (AMFMRADIO) was tough.

Finally, I thought it was very clever to put in JIMMORRISON and MRMOJORISIN in symmetric spots. I had no idea the latter was an anagram of the former.

- Colum


  1. Heh. I loved this one. And I parsed the title as "No R use," which worked so beautifully.

    The themers all made me laugh, and I agree that the rest of the cluing was lively as well. Overall, a great Sunday diversion. :)

    1. You are so completely correct! I am chastened.

  2. Sheesh! It took me until reading your review, Colum, to read the JIMMORRISON anagram right. I had 'MR MOJOR IS IN' stuck in my head :)
    Despite that humiliation, I thoroughly enjoyed this crossword.

  3. Well, Colum is young, so he wouldn't know about Morrison too much. I was able to drop both right in off of the clues at my advanced age. Very amusing Sunday indeed, and it happened that my brother, PETER, left for Sunny Florida that morning, so it was nice to see him in the grid. 21:03 (fast for me).