Thursday, September 9, 2021

Thursday, September 9, 2021, Billy Bratton

Today's theme is clever - almost too clever for this solver! The revealer at 54A tells us to CONVERTTOMETRIC to make sense of the theme answers. So, we change the 'mile' in Miles Davis to KILOMETERS (at an approximate 3:5 ratio) and it ADDS up to KILOMETERSDAVIS. The expression 'pound foolish' becomes GRAMFOOLISH, and the trickiest one for this solver - so tricky in fact that I needed to have the conversion corrected by a dear Reader :) - the 'degree' in degree mills became RADIANMILLS. I haven't thought of radians in years.

Even when I figured out that last one, I remained stuck in the northeast corner. Early on I entered SYSadS for "Reddit moderators, e.g., in brief" and never really thought about it again - ADa Annie seemed OK for a person from "Oklahoma." My house of cards fell apart, however, at 23A: "Word with shot or happy" which I could not make work with a final D. Feeling the pressure to complete the puzzle and get to the review, I ended up putting in an L where "Veep" co-star Clea" (DUVALL) crossed 23A - because it seemed like the most likely letter. Anyhoo, to make a long story short, the L was correct, but the D was not. FWOE is me!

Another tough one in that section was the spelled-out BANDBS for "Stay-at-homes?" "Glowing lines" for ODE is very clever. Similarly, the plural in the clue "Ulterior motives" might trick one into thinking one needed an answer with an S on the end, but no, AGENDA was the order of the day. The clue "Apple store employee?" (GROCER) was also nice and tricky.


In an odd turn of events, I wasn't fooled by two of the sports clues: "Magic org." (NBA) and "Diamond data" (OUTS), although for the latter, I did start with RBIS. Interesting fact about SNAIL teeth being the strongest substance in the natural world. Who knew?

I didn't really like ALEKEGS - a term I've never heard before - but perhaps I don't go to enough "hoppy birthday parties." I did enjoy its "companion" clue "It may be iced for a happy birthday party" (CAKE). That's an ALIMENT I can get behind.



  1. FWOE. I didn't know NAE NAE. And the SNAIL clue blew me away. I liked "WE'LL SEE" and OF COURSE...both TOP TIER I thought! Nice review, Frannie. (Psst...maybe it's "degree" mills...)

  2. Thanks for the correction, Kelly. I guess that just goes to show that there are a number of things I haven't thought of in years. :)