Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Wednesday, December 8, 2021, Philip Koski

Boy, I didn't see this theme coming! By the time I got to the appropriately backwardsly-wrapped revealer, ITSA WRAP, I had forgotten about the circles, and I was all "TSARNICHOLASI" is a wrap somehow? ... But no. As you have also figured out by now, the letters ITSA are found, in order, beginning somewhere near the end of the theme answers, and ending at the beginning. Sounds so simple, right?

Well, why not a theme like this, I suppose. Mr. Shortz has been overseeing the NYTX since 1993, and I'm sure he's constantly on the lookout for new and unusual themes. And who am I to criticize it? :)


The first two Across clues are especially covid-relevant to me. The first, SWAB (Sample collector) is covid-relevant to many people, of course, but TWANG (Banjo sound) is relevant to me and Frannie, because pretty much every Monday night for several years right up until March, 2020, Frannie and I would go to a local bar to hear bluegrass music. But since the pandemic started, I don't think I've heard a live TWANG even once! 

Moving on, as we all must, I hadn't heard that a WOMBAT had cube-shaped droppings. Strange. And I also hadn't heard that the Economist viewed DATA as "The world's most valuable resource." I think that could be debated, but I'm not going to take the time to engage in ABATTLEOFWITS with its EDITors here. All I'll say is that, were I starving, I might prefer a sandwich to a spreadsheet. REBUTTAL?

- Horace


  1. The same thing happened to me! I whizzed thru this and was so excited to come in under 4:00 (3:54) that the theme completely escaped me. Clever that the revealer was also wrapped. I had never heard of SARGENT before.

  2. John Singer Sargent? Never heard of him? Well, you've got a lot of lovely viewing to look forward to!

    I didn't know off the top of my head that he had painted portraits of those two ("Madame X" would have been a giveaway), and I am not convinced that SARGENTPORTRAIT is a crossword-worthy entry, but I'll let it slide. :)