Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Wednesday, August 25, 2021, Adam Vincent

No errors today! I'm getting my mojo back, baby.

And just in time, for the best puzzle of the week so far. I love this theme: standard phrases where the second word can be reinterpreted as an attempt to sell something, then clued wackily. My favorite was definitely 27A: "This device makes prepping cherries a breeze" (PITTERPATTER). Hah! That's truly silly. I hope it was the seed for the grid (see what I did there?).

FEVERPITCH is much better served here than in the stupid rom-com movie set in and around Fenway Park. ASSEMBLYLINE's clue wasn't a home-run, but I liked MASSAPPEAL.

Some good answers in the fill as well, including DYSTOPIA. I haven't watched The Handmaid's Tale personally. I found the book fascinating, especially once somebody told me that it was set in Harvard Square/Yard. BLUESTATE, IDEALIZE, and DNASAMPLE (although who wants to think about spit in a tube?) were also good entries.

IVAN The Terrible

32D: There are two in "101 Dalmatians" (ONES) failed to trip me up, thankfully. The answer couldn't be "dogs." The title's a dead giveaway for that one.

57A: It shows a lot of plays, but no musicals (ESPN) is a clever non-QMC. I'm a big fan of those types of clues. But how about 56D: For whom the bell tolls (THEE)? It's so brazen! I personally like this new style of clue as well.

My last square (and there was a moment of concern here) was at the crossing of MAYA and YEA. I almost had to run through the alphabet to get the letter, but then thought, "what if it's a vowel, not a consonant?" And then I got what "Passing remark?" was getting at, and the rest was history.

- Colum


  1. An ad copywriter am I and I loved this theme. Hit home in many ways!

  2. Yeah, that YEA was a tricky one! And how about this for a mistake - when I first read "It leans to the left" I had BLUES... and maybe even the next T, and I actually wrote in BLUESTeel. I thought, wow, Zoolander is still really popular and well known! Hah! I'm not actually even sure that "Blue Steel" does lean left, or right, but I laughed and laughed when it wasn't right. :)